Statewide, 22 percent of classroom teachers were ranked highly effective; 75 percent effective; about 2 percent were told they need improvement; and less than 1 percent -- or 493 teachers -- were deemed “unsatisfactory.”
The report for Broward’s classroom teachers:
• 1,606 teachers were ranked “highly effective”
• 20,851 teachers received “effective”
• 238 instructors got “needs improvement”
• 30 novice teachers were ranked “developing.”
• None were “unsatisfactory.”
The ratings for the majority of Miami-Dade’s classroom teachers -- more than 20,000 -- were not available. Hebda said the state had not received all the needed information from Miami-Dade. Of the few evaluated, 72 Miami-Dade instructors got “highly effective;” 93 got “effective;” one received “needs improvement;” two beginning teachers were “developing;” and none were unsatisfactory.
Enid Weisman, chief human capital officer at the Miami-Dade school district, said all employees had been evaluated, but the district had not sent the data to the state because administrators and the United Teachers of Dade have to negotiate the cut-off scores for the value-added rankings. “Our feeling is we’d rather it be right than done,” Weisman said, adding that data from the state also arrived late.
Some teachers still waiting for their final evaluation are frustrated with the new system. Miami Beach High teacher Nadia Zananiri said that without her final evaluation for 2011-12, it’s hard to know what to change in the classroom this year, which is nearly half over.
“This is the most cumbersome, ineffective and waste of an evaluation system that could possibly be designed,” she said. “This is not an improvement over the old system. We’re throwing away millions on an evaluation system that is not sustainable and is going to be thrown out in the courts.”
Lisa Maxwell, executive director of the Broward Principals’ and Assistants’ Association who served on the state committee that helped devised the model, said the initial results gave good news -- and indications there’s room to improve. “Now we are literally reaching into a classroom and going kid by kid and saying what is their performance and measuring it,” she said.
While some of the feared unintended consequences -- like penalizing teachers at poor schools -- are not occurring, others are.
Dozens of high-performing Broward teachers who instruct top-performing kids were rated “needs improvement,” Maxwell said. The new system rewards teachers for student growth, and top-performing students don’t have as much room to improve.
“The model has a ceiling effect,” Maxwell said. “That’s the sort of stuff that needs to be adjusted. The intention is not to penalize the best and brightest.”
Noel Giannone, a middle school social studies teacher at Cypress Run Education Center in Pompano Beach, said he was rated an “effective” teacher – but he still thinks the system is unfair.
His frustration isn’t just with the reliance on test scores. He also thinks the classroom observations are inherently subjective, since different principals might favor different teaching techniques and a brief walk-through could be misleading.
Giannone said he favored bringing in evaluators not employed by the district to observe teachers. That way, a principal who personally doesn’t get along with a teacher won’t bring that bias into the evaluation process. When it comes to using student test scores to grade teachers, Giannone said his school exclusively serves students with behavioral problems, and many of them are testing at three or four years below grade level. “I’m supposed to be graded on what these guys get when I’m already so far behind,” Giannone said.
Broward Teachers Union President Sharon Glickman said there are “many flaws and inconsistencies” in the evaluation system, like the fact only 7 percent of Broward teachers earned “highly effective.”
“There should be more,” Glickman said. “It’s the inconsistencies that are unfair to the teachers, and mislead the parents as well.”
Glickman said the union is preparing a class-action grievance that will challenge the evaluation system.