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    Ever since Cindy Marten stepped into the spotlight as San Diego Unified superintendent, she’s been trailed by the whispers: Sure, she knows how to teach, but how will she handle herself in the trenches of labor negotiations?

    If the initial contract proposal the district sent to the teachers union this week is any indication, Marten is ready for a fight.

    “And,” the union promises, “it’s going to be a fight.”

    At issue is the next contract between San Diego Unified and San Diego Education Association – San Diego’s teachers union – which will cover teachers, nurses, counselors and other staff members.

    The current contract ends June 30 but Bill Freeman, SDEA president, says they’ll be at the table as long as it takes to strike an agreement.

    The district sent the union its proposal Tuesday. It’s light on details, but the district wants to write clearer job descriptions for teachers and have more room to negotiate benefits, among other things.


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    The part that may have the biggest impact, however, might also be biggest sticking point: rebooting its system for evaluating teachers.

    “That was the biggest disappointment for me,” said Freeman. “Any time you want to implement a system that’s top-down, that’s the quickest way to make something fail.”

    Freeman said he was surprised by the sudden focus on teacher evaluations, and that the district has never indicated the current system was problematic.

    But Lisa Berlanga, executive director of parent advocacy group UpforEd, said that changes are a long time coming. “I don’t think it’s changed in more than 20 years,” she said. “We’re very pleased to see this.”

    The district hasn’t said what the new evaluations would look like, but it wants to include feedback from students and parents.

    Outgoing Trustee Scott Barnett said that the idea is to include more stakeholders in the conversation – not to hammer on teachers or make their jobs harder.

    “Our most important constituents are the kids, right? We say that. So let’s find a way to get them and their representatives – their parents – into the process,” Barnett said.

    For years, the district shied away from instituting a more comprehensive evaluation system.

    While other districts like Houston or Los Angeles were embracing “value-added metrics,” a way of gauging teachers’ effectiveness by looking at improvements in students’ test scores, San Diego Unified went another direction.

    Instead, principals visit classrooms once every year or two to see how teachers are leading class. Afterward, principals complete an evaluation form in which they rated the performance.

    Of course, many principals were probably more hands-on than that, but the contract requirements were pretty lax. So lax, in fact, that in some cases teachers can fill out their own reviews – without being observed at all.

    This past summer, four teachers at Lincoln High told VOSD that although they were due for a classroom visit, a principal never came. Instead, they said they received a “satisfactory” review. All they had to do was sign on the line.

    While that may not be what the district considers best practice, this literal hands-off approach jibed with contract rules for what to do if a principal doesn’t show. But even if no policies were broken, this part stands out: four teachers missed a shot at getting feedback for how they were doing.

    The district’s proposal is just the opening act of what’s sure to be a dramatic story. But Marten is turning a few heads with her willingness to take the lead early on.

    Barnett said that this is the first time in his experience on the school board that San Diego Unified is putting kids first while still keeping an eye on the bottom line.

    “There’s a new sheriff in town and her name is Cindy Marten,” he said.

      This article relates to: Education, News, School Leadership, School Performance, Share

      Written by Mario Koran

      Mario asks questions and writes stories about San Diego schools. Reach him directly at 619.325.0531, or by email: mario@vosd.org.

      92 comments
      John H Borja
      John H Borja subscriber

      Before we go off an tample on teachers, let's take a good look at the politics at the District Board level. We now know that Mr. Sandoval will be a felon at Sweetwater Union High School Districtr. We need to look now at San Ysidro School District and Mr. Manuel Paul. Transparency is not normal in the South Bay Area. Our people are familiar with the term "caciquismo". Some will be able to relate to this with "godfatherism", as in gang.  Our kids deserve better honorable people.

      The problems in education are very complicated and are more complicated by the people that want to make money on the backs of the babies of our community.  Thanks for our legal system for evaluation of our Board Members and "superintendents". 

      Susan Brinchman
      Susan Brinchman subscriber

      Read "The Black Hole in the Blueprint" by Janice Howes (available on Amazon), a San Diego teacher who documented how experienced but expensive staff people were mistreated by SDUSD's leadership a few years back. Rather than find "ineffective teachers" the ineffective, untalented principals hired by Alan Bersin engaged in a "witch hunt" of sorts, trying to save the district money by running teachers over the age of 40 out. The old "kiss-up" system also was put in place. I saw ineffective teachers who screamed at students, were right out of college, who participated in underhanded, illegal activities such as cheating on testing be favored by the quite incompetent, mean-spirited principals. This was rampant for about a decade.  To work in that sort of environment without protections would be unthinkable. It was quite bad enough as it was. The most experienced, talented teachers were set-up to be fired or harassed using false accusations. The public has no idea how political a school district can be. Eliminating tenure would only make the above worse.

      John H Borja
      John H Borja subscriber

      It is patently unfair to evaluate teachers based on numbers. We are just starting the "online" Common Core. But we teachers get a "choice" as to Who  COMES to class? No!!!! That is capricious. It should be a collaborative between the Principal and the teacher. The kids comes to class in April. What? Has the child benefitted from instruction from day One? Uh, uh...wait for it...NOOOOOO! And, yet, the evaluation of that teacher is dependent on what THAT  child achieves. WRONG!   That teacher has...zero...zero...zero... control over that "outcome". So, that Princiapal will look and see...Numbers!!!. Capricous. UNFAIR!!@!. 

      ScrippsDad
      ScrippsDad subscriber

      @John H Borja


      First off - I think you mean test scores vice numbers? Seems to me that a principal and other evaluators could use a rating system that requires numbers to be used to rank, etc... So, numbers will be used to evaluate teachers unless you are looking for a complete NARRATIVE EVALUATION SYSTEM (much like I had in college at UCSC long ago and which got me into a highly regarded grad school).


      If you mean test scores, then I would agree. However, the caveat is that a comprehensive evaluation system requires input from a variety of sources all of which measure different attributes and performance. For example - a highly confidential peer review 'cause everybody says teachers know the good teachers. Principal review, self review, student review, parent review and test scores. I know a charter school that both admin and teachers reviewed the evaluation system process and results and embraced it prior to the year starting and have implemented it to the benefit of the teachers and the admin and helping everybody to get better at their job(s).


      The fear here seems to be that evaluations will be used to terminate teachers when evaluations should be used to HELP teachers. Teachers, as in any profession, should embrace this if they truly want to become better teachers. If they fear for themselves and their abilities, then the will fight it.


      DDunn
      DDunn subscriber

      Mario - With the amount of commentary on this subject, I'll toss this in as to why the San Diego media doesn't go deep enough. Re: NBC 7 report

      http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Controversy-Sparks-after-District-Asks-HS-Principal-Esther-Omogbehin-to-Leave-Lincoln-High-school-255834241.html

      This happened on Friday and as yet no follow through. If a school board member is offering a "deal" to step down and write their own job, then something is terribly wrong. Here we have an embattled school with an embattled staff and there no investigative reporting? As well, this district behavior is not new - i.e. La Jolla's quick principal transfer after budget questions arose - and this kind of position shuffling goes way, way back. Yet, again the story either stops or just goes away. Yup, a new sheriff in town - but this is San Diego and we know (or don't know) what goes on behind closed door sessions.

      DDunn

      Allen Hemphill
      Allen Hemphill subscribermember

      Richard, teachers think that they have different DNA from employees of EVERY other organization in the Western World!

      They can't be evaluated! They are different and they are special, because they work with children! That means each and every one of the teachers are superb --and that is proven by the fact that out of 300,000 teachers, only about two a year are fired.

      The Law of Averages says that out of a population of 300,000, more than two will become stark raving mad -- except of course among teachers...because their DNA actually CHANGES the second they are hired!

      Personally, I think it is a miracle that should be studied by the Vatican!

      Richard Bagnell
      Richard Bagnell subscriber

      @eliza  The first grade teachers know which kindergarten teachers are the best or worst.  Teachers, as peers, should be included in an evaluation process.

      shawn fox
      shawn fox subscriber

      Poor Mario is just reporting what other people are doing, and many of the commenters write as though the whole idea is his.  I guess when you write with anger and blood in your eyes, you can't really see straight.  It is really hard to believe that simply putting this option onto the negotiating table would be so controversial.

      ScrippsDad
      ScrippsDad subscriber

      @shawn fox

      Welcome to CBA negotiating and union territorial protections.

      You'd think that we are trying to create a new dystopian future by asking to evaluate teachers within the context of the CBA, but, therein lies the politics of unions. Open the door to one thing and they feel you open the door to a plethora of other things so they fight fight and fight and then ask ask ask for more......

      shawn fox
      shawn fox subscriber

      I find it so amusing how when I post something that there is a link that reads, edit in 5 million minutes.  I'll be able to edit my post in about 8 years.

      Catherine Green
      Catherine Green moderator memberadministrator

      @shawn fox Ha, yeah - our comment system Livefyre doesn't have indefinite Edit windows, but folks complained when we had it set to a shorter time. So yes, you should absolutely check back in 8 years to make any final changes that have been gnawing at you.

      mlaiuppa
      mlaiuppa subscriber

      UpForEd is shorthand for privatize for profit.


      ALEC. It figures. 


      I'm sure "A Nation at Risk" would be cited as their "research based" justification.

      ScrippsDad
      ScrippsDad subscriber

      @Kathy S @mlaiuppa

      WOW WOW WOW - even the UpforED detractors can't agree on how to disparage UFE. Obviously nobody has done their homework on what UFE is actually doing and has done or what the mission statement and objectives are along with the actual on-the-street performance by UPforED. As we continue to see, the uniformed just throw crap against the wall and see what sticks to the uneducated to advance their personal agendas.

      @Kathy S - You seem to have some historical knowledge of the genesis of UFE however you clearly have not properly vetted the current organization or how it has evolved since those early days. I would challenge either you or @mlaiuppa to demonstrate one single event or initiative where privatization or Parent Trigger was pushed by UFE.

      Finally - to accuse Lisa of not being a dedicated mother/teacher (as you do in a later post) is incredibly insensitive and ridiculous. I would hope you retract that personal attack as there is no place for it here. What is relevant and goes to your politics is that somehow you think it funny that Lisa had her kids attend public school in your own neighborhood.  HHmmmmmm. 

      shawn fox
      shawn fox subscriber

      @mlaiuppa  So what?  Even if it were true for profit institutions provide us with many quality products and services.  The profit motive is why we have stores with full shelves and many reasonably priced choices.  It is also why there are so many learning opportunities on the internet.  Although there are also many free and open learning programs and products, it is the for profit motive that so many people have high speed internet to begin with.

      Mark Giffin
      Mark Giffin subscribermember

      @Jim Jones @shawn fox@mlaiuppa 

      But Jim. Its not like they are a corporation with a billion dollar budget that prioritize insider compensation while leaving shareholders holding the bag.

      Oh wait. Never mind

      francesca
      francesca subscriber

      Eureka, I found it.  I found where Lisa Berlanga got her ideas about teacher evaluation.  I should have known it would be the American Legislative Exchange Council.

      They're already doing the same thing in Indiana.  It's called the Great Teachers and Leaders Act and is exactly what Lisa is sponsoring, from giving awards to "good teachers" to having children and parents do much of the evaluation.

      Great site...Mario, If you're the investigative reporter you seem to be, you must read this.

      Go to:  alecexposed.org/w/images/a/a4/2F2-Great_Teachers_and_Leaders_Act_Exposed.pdf

      I wonder if Lisa knows her source or is just fed this by political extremists.

      ScrippsDad
      ScrippsDad subscriber

      @francesca

      Please show me where Lisa, UPforED, Four Kids, or the collation involved in Four Kids is asking for or even suggesting that: "having children and parents do much of the evaluation.".  

      Your statement is not only inaccurate given KATHYS post below outlining the Four Kids proposal, but, misleading and disingenuous. Have you even read it? Can you tell me what about it that you find objectionable?

      In addition, recognize that coalition building in San Diego around education is a monumental task (just try to do it. Then try to do it with the union spewing vitriolic rhetoric and untruths about your organization)  and to have this broad group of supporters come to the table and agree on a document would indicate that it's not just UFE, or Lisa, but, the desires of a diverse group who really want to see better educational opportunities for SDUSD kids.

      @francesaca - don't you?

      francesca
      francesca subscriber

      @Mark Giffin @francescaNot against updated evaluations.  

      I don't like policies written on an island off FL, no outsiders allowed.  

      This particular law "Great Teachers and Leaders Act" was written with the help of a CEO of a for profit charter school company.  Pretty biased. 

      Am not a fan of "value added" based  evaluations. I've taught children who didn't speak a word of English, yet were tested in English.  Ridiculous. 

      ALEC has written thousands of state laws, the Stand Your Ground Law just one example.

      francesca
      francesca subscriber

      @ScrippsDad @francesca"Spewing vitriolic rhetoric"...I had to laugh at that one.  You've cornered that market.

      I wish Lisa Berlanga were a sincere, dedicated, caring citizen who just wanted to improve education for children ...but have followed her career beginning in 1995 at one of the first privatized..er..charter schools, in San Diego, Darnall.  Didn't turn out well, she becoming the director, after scores remained low and money was missing...no reflection on her, concerning the money.

      Then she showed up as the local, maybe state advocate for charter schools, speaking in a very demanding voice, insisting the state rules be followed...all those rules written by ALEC.  Reinventing herself, Up4Ed, now Four Kids, another Michelle Rhee, making money, criticizing schools.  

      Can't be a coincidence that all points of Lisa's change to the teachers' contract and evaluation  include..Principals choosing staff, parents and children evaluating students, value added, test scores used in teacher evaluations..the exact same points in the ALEC state law from Indiana.."Great Teachers and Leaders" act.  

      Last board meeting, I watched as her "grassroots" (astro-turf) Four Kids group,  read the scripts, many unable to read the words that were obviously written for them. 

      The parents seemed very sincere.  The scripts were right out of the ALEC handbook. 

      Mark Giffin
      Mark Giffin subscribermember

      @francesca  

      Performance based rather than tenure and seniority.

      What a Novel concept. 

      Those wanting reform see it as a good thing but of course the education establishment doesn't.

      There is nothing nefarious nor extremist in that document.

      JLDodd
      JLDodd subscriber

      I know from past experience with San Diego Unified and other districts that the teachers know who should be let go, so why not ask them to nominate the bottom 10% to be replaced each year? Bill & Melinda Gates say that replacing the bottom 10% of teachers is a strategy that will absolutely work (from studies at their Foundation). But since the teachers unions are organized to protect the worst teachers, I don't expect the union  will be happy with this proposal…jim dodd

      mlaiuppa
      mlaiuppa subscriber

      @JLDodd  Because Bill and Melinda Gates are experts in the field of education. 


      Why is no one quoting Diane Ravitch? Or any of the studies done on value added evaluations?

      JLDodd
      JLDodd subscriber

      @mlaiuppa @JLDodd  Mary, the Gates have enormous money available and the want to solve problems. The hired the experts, here in American education. Ms. Ravitch is an ed school staffer, and they are part of the problem…jim

      Lou Dodge
      Lou Dodge subscriber

      @JLDodd @mlaiuppa JLDodd,  So money is the answer. wow! and Diane Ravitch is a Research Professor of Education at NYU and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute.  I believe Bill Gates did not finish college.  Here in America we think we can throw money at problems instead of looking at real solutions such as the ones Diane Ravitch offers in her books.


      francesca
      francesca subscriber

      @Lou Dodge Diane Ravitch was part of creating "No Child Left Behind", worked for George W. Bush...then...by looking at studies about Charter Schools, done by Stanford U, etc.,realized that these schools were not the panacea she thought they could be, wrote "The Death and Life of  the Great American School System"...A thoughtful, objective, fact based report. 

      Bill Gates came up with the brilliant idea that putting more principals in a high school would help students learn better.  No research or facts required.  From what I've seen in SDUSD, it made no difference in student learning and caused a lot of problems..and cost a lot of money.

      ScrippsDad
      ScrippsDad subscriber

      @Lou Dodge

      So what if Diane Ravitch has degrees, etc... That in and of itself doesn't mean she is right about anything. If that were the case, we wouldn't be even having this dialogue as consensus would result. However, well educated and experienced people throughout the entire education field can't agree. Those that believe Ravitch and her views quote her. Those that disagree quote other equally educated and experienced people (and think tanks on both sides). So, pick your side, pick your think tank, and make arguments on the merits of the discussion and not on qualifications.

      If money is not the answer, why does SDUSD along with SDEA and CTA continue to ask taxpayers to pony up more and more. If money is not the answer, why can't the problems be fixed without increasing SDUSD total employee compensation of over 95% of the Generla Fund leaving very little for educational programs for our kids and don't forget about the billions of dollars committed under the two property tax Propositions?

      So, either you believe that money can help, and therefore the Gates Foundation (or any other foundation) can engage highly degreed, experienced and educated people into the discussion or we should stop throwing taxpayer money away and both certificated and classified get the job done without requiring more and more money from taxpayers.

      Really - what does it matter that Gates never finished college? That doesn't diminish his ability to engage highly qualified people for research and policy development. If Gates had hired Ravitch, you wouldn't be arguing...... but since you disagree with the Gates Foundation position, you make illogical arguments based on your perceived Bill Gates qualifications and not substance.

      James Wilson
      James Wilson subscriber

      Mario, you have created a lot of interest with your article. However, the whole issue has nothing to do with the central problem in education. The central problem in education in cities across the country is poverty. Children brought up in poverty don't do well in school. Since ESEA was created in the mid 60's no one has found a silver bullet in instruction to equalize test scores. Your article focuses on a national movement to include test scores in evaluating teachers. This is a mistaken approach that has been dismissed by the author of No Child Left Behind, Diane Ravitch. There is no substantial problem with teacher competence. This is similar to fixing non existent voter fraud.


      The solutions to helping poor children have better lives are in quality preschool and career academies. The school board has no way of expanding its preschool program. The feds are talking about it, but they are unlikely to fund such a large program. Thus, our new superintendent would do well to implement as many career academies as she can. Career academies can prepare our youth to survive in a difficult economy. Perhaps some of your misguided readers could assist Cindy as advisors on new career academies in biotechnology, electronics and police.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      @James Wilson Learning disabilities and other background factors will be revealed by the test at the beginning of the year, won't they?

      shawn fox
      shawn fox subscriber

      @James Wilson  Jim, Mario is simply reporting something.  The evaluation idea isn't even his.  Perhaps you should write a letter to Cindy Marten.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      @James Wilson Value-added metrics (mentioned in the article) automatically adjust for student backgrounds. If a class of students score in the 10th percentile at the beginning of the year and then at the 20th percentile at the end of the year, the teacher was an effective educator.

      James Wilson
      James Wilson subscriber

      @shawn fox @James Wilson  Shawn, Mario gives bad ideas credibility by reporting on them. He is a generalist reporter who doesn't understand the issue. I wrote a four page letter to Cindy and met with her. She means well, but her limited background as an elementary principal means that she is in for years of learning on the job.

      James Wilson
      James Wilson subscriber

      @Derek Hofmann @James Wilson  Derek, I understand the statistics. However, they cannot adjust for all of the different backgrounds children bring to the classroom. For instance, there are numerous different kinds of learning disabilities that are too complex to quantify. There are many children of different language background who make different levels of progress that are too complex to quantify. There are teachers with different strengths that we don't want to lose. Some are in science, some in math, some in music and some in art. These teachers bring great value and create a love of education in kids which is far more significant than test scores. just because we have the statistical means to quantify differences doesn't mean that it is a valid approach to teacher evaluation.


      The whole issue of teacher evaluation is a red herring for Republicans who didn't like the fact that teacher unions supported the election of President Obama. Similar to voter fraud, there is no substantial issue of teacher incompetence. This is a matter completely contrived by anti teacher union far right nuts. It is a distraction that unfortunately takes away from far more serious issues such as preschool for all children in poverty and career academies.




      James Wilson
      James Wilson subscriber

      @Derek Hofmann @James Wilson  Yes, if they are tested at all. The point is that children with learning disabilities and limited language acquisition are very different. Trying to use a test that they may not even understand to compare them is absurd. And then to try to take it to another level and try to make some judgement on the relative quality of instruction is just a bridge too far. 


      The responsible approach to evaluating teachers is to use the principal to get into the classroom and observe the instruction which is the law today. If someone really thinks there is a problem with a teacher, it is the principal that they should be evaluating.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      @James Wilson "Trying to use a test that they may not even understand to compare them is absurd."

      Why can't the test be available in their native language?

      It's not very complicated to rank students relative to each other.

      Mark Giffin
      Mark Giffin subscribermember

      @James Wilson @shawn fox  

      " Mario gives bad ideas credibility by reporting on them."

      James.

      Really? 

      So you are saying that others perspective on the subject should not even be discussed because you, as an obvious expert, deem it unworthy of discussion?

      Again. It is an arrogant position

      James Wilson
      James Wilson subscriber

      @Derek Hofmann @James Wilson  Derek, there are numerous different learning disabilities and different levels of impact of the disability. There are something like forty different  primary languages of children in San Diego City Schools and many of the children are illiterate in their original language. In high school, many students make designs on the answer sheets. You get the point that evaluation of instruction must be done by a principal and not by invalid statistics.

      francesca
      francesca subscriber

      A good follow up story would be an interview with Ms. Marten.  She may say what the details of the evaluation change would be.  Parents and children involved in the process.  Could be good or bad, depending on the specifics.  Value added?  Sounds like test scores.  Need details there, too.

      DDunn
      DDunn subscriber

      Mario - Case in point: According to NBC 7, board member Marne Foster has offered the Lincoln principal her choice or to write her own position to step down.

      Really now...!!

      DDunn

      DDunn
      DDunn subscriber

      Mario, the rattle is in the reader comments. However, the VOSD has historically missed the real issues. SDUSD has historically been a mass of "looking ahead" and "visioning" for sake of existing as a viable entity. Take a look at the ongoing reorganization of district personnel - all the same people re-appointed, administrators reassigned, yet teachers take the brunt. The reader banter, as well as many of the VOSD articles are superficial and never go deep enough. It's all about pay and position - teachers don't think that way.

      DDunn
      DDunn subscriber

      Always a delight to read the rhetoric that VOSD entertains with reader comments - almost hilarious...! Let's look at the reality. The average school principal has less than five years experience in the classroom - yes five, and the reality is that most got out (or moved up ??) for the pay. Generally administrator vacancies are predetermined regardless of any interview process. As for teacher evaluations, the current process is protected by California state law and should likely not be negotiated without a law change; and as well there is a process for parent and student involvement - read on.

      District curriculum does have a course description for ASB classes that includes "student government" - actually a dynamic avenue to affect change on a school campus. However, most ASBs busy themselves with poster making, lunch time activities, and dances - very little on student government. 

      Each district school has a parent contact person, input vehicle, or other means to support student success and to address concerns. Unfortunately and far too often, the support or concern is localized and focused on one parent, one student, and one issue. Too often the parent and/or student does not recognize or consider the "whole" classroom. On this one would favor the teacher - sorry parents, your child is in a different environment and the acclamation may surprise you.

      Teacher evaluations - My evaluations (all 14 - every 2 years) - Three were real. The system is there, the teachers are accountable, but what happens when the principal fails to show - 'nuff said.

      Finally - some teachers, much like administrators, want to move up (and out). What the SDUSD board practices has allowed is the non-support, non-encouragement, and administrator decision to lose excellent teachers in some of our most challenging schools. The simple idea that "north-of-8" students are better learners is simply wrong by all definition; it's all about trust, teaching and learning.

      So, rattle away VOSD, vision away SDUSD...!

      DDunn

      Mario Koran
      Mario Koran author

      @DDunn  Just out of curiosity, in which part of this article did I rattle on? I'm not sure anything you wrote contradicts what I reported in the story. 

      DDunn
      DDunn subscriber

      @Mario Koran @DDunn

      Mario, the rattle is in the reader comments. However, the VOSD has historically missed the real issues. SDUSD has historically been a mass of "looking ahead" and "visioning" for sake of existing as a viable entity. Take a look at the ongoing reorganization of district personnel - all the same people re-appointed, administrators reassigned, yet teachers take the brunt. The reader banter, as well as many of the VOSD articles are superficial and never go deep enough. It's all about pay and position - teachers don't think that way.

      Mario Koran
      Mario Koran author

      Okay, @DDunn. I'll think about what you say as I approach future stories. Appreciate the feedback. 

      ScrippsDad
      ScrippsDad subscriber

      @DDunn

      So, out of curiosity, you had 14 evaluations over 28 years of teaching and three were real.

      1. Doesn't that kinda upset you? As a teacher, with 11 unreal evaluations representing 22 years of service with no real evaluation, what did you do or say about it? I assume they supported you (satisfactory) otherwise, again an assumption, I figure you would fight it?

      2. With Step and Column 4% annual pay raises every years for 17 years regardless of evaluations and performance measures, what is the motivation for teachers to fight for a stronger eval system? Clearly not only are they not, but, they are fighting for even longer periods between evaluations. If that's not about pay and position, I'm not sure what is.

      2. Doesn't it seem odd that a teacher, the stewards of our children's education, are only evaluated every two years? Regardless of the quality of the eval, doesn't the quantity bother you? Do you think teachers should be evaluated annually?

      3. I note that now, under certain circumstances evaluations are every five years. What do you think about that?

      4. As I understand it, there is nothing in the Ed Code that prohibits the modification of the teacher evaluation system as proposed by the Four Kids coalition. Therefore, it can be negotiated as part of the new CBA.

      Since you indicate that you find our posts humorous and you say teachers don't think about pay and position, I thought I would query your thoughts - no disrespect intended.

      DDunn
      DDunn subscriber

      @ScrippsDad @DDunn

      1. Never would upset me, as I am in the classroom to support children - and of course all evals were satisfactory.

      2. The raises ended at 17 years - and still teaching after 35 years - any pay increases have been historically overdue basic COLA balancing. As for evaluations - per contract, the burden is on the administrator to bring an ineffective teacher up to par. This is a long process, and most administrators would prefer to evaluate as "effective" than to do the extra work - besides, most wouldn't know how.

      3.The five year deal is only allowed for consistently effective teachers, and only with consultation and agreement.

      4. Stull Bill - overrides Ed. Code.

      The VOSD posts are quite humorous, as well as the reporting. The Voice, the U-T, News 10, 7, 8, 6, and down the line never get deep. The narrative is spontaneous and catchy - with absolutely no follow up. The comment banter is service only to the media - they love it...!

      DDunn

      Richard Bagnell
      Richard Bagnell subscriber

      @DDunn @ScrippsDad  Do you find the number of school dropouts humorous?  Do you find the achievement gap humorous? Do you find the number of Cal State student who show up with the need for remedial classes humorous?  Do you find the country's ranking in math and science humorous?  Do you find the $80 billion in unfunded CalSTRs pension humorous?


      Maybe we will all have a good laugh years from now when parents and students have choice and the schools improve.

      Eduardo Stephano
      Eduardo Stephano subscriber

      @Richard Bagnell @DDunn @ScrippsDad  


      No, what he finds humorous is that virtually every VOSD (education) article is hijacked by the same handful of pompous commenters whose sole purpose is to demean and inflame hard working teachers. The antagonistic & repetitive rhetoric that some of these commenters get into is quite comical.

      That said, I appreciate Mario's writing here at VOSD; he's one of the few (if only) local columnists who strives to cover education issues on a regular basis, superficial or not. 

      mlaiuppa
      mlaiuppa subscriber

      @ScrippsDad @DDunn  Evaluations don't make teachers more effective teachers. Lack of evaluations will not turn every teacher into a lazy, incompetent failure. Test scores and student and parent input will make them even more ineffective then they already are. Evaluations are designed to identify teachers that need help or should simply be terminated. Most principals don't bother to go through the process that is already in place. They either don't know it or are too lazy to follow through. They'd rather use bullying tactics to get a teacher to transfer to another school or they sit in their office and pray the teacher just leaves.


      I once begged a principal to do something about a math teacher the entire staff knew should have been fired. She had walked out on her class and gone home at least THREE times, leaving the class sitting there alone, unsupervised. They finally put her in a tutoring math lab where her aide did all the work and she spent her time on the phone running her travel agency business. Nothing was ever done about her. Not so much as a letter of reprimand. Why? The principal told me if he did anything, then no other school would take her if she were to transfer. 


      I do my job effectively whether I am being evaluated or not. Evaluations are simply another hoop I jump through and I try not to let it interfere with my job, which is teaching students and supporting their growth and success for the future. I don't need an evaluation to tell me whether I am effective or not. 


      I'm national board certified, btw.

      ScrippsDad
      ScrippsDad subscriber

      @mlaiuppa @ScrippsDad @DDunn

      Huh? 8,000 certificated employees of SDUSD alone and are you saying that since they are teachers, none of them need or should be comprehensively evaluated?

      Teachers can self evaluate and determine their own effectiveness?

      Do you think the same for Principals, administrative staff, executive staff because it sure seems that you personally are evaluating principals here. Why can't they self evaluate as well? Where do you draw the line - just teachers don't need evaluations as a profession?

      I don't have enough information to evaluate you as a teacher so I withhold judgment although I'd like to know under what criteria you consider yourself an "effective" teacher  - maybe student and parent feedback?

      As I noted in an earlier post, it matters not that you are board certified, MENSA, a PhD or any other abbreviations. None of those make you a good or effective teacher.