Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009 | San Diego Unified has used the same process to evaluate its teachers for decades. It rarely pegs teachers with negative ratings, gives them years to improve, and seldom forces their dismissal. No tenured teachers were fired for poor performance last year.
The school district wants to change that process. The teachers union does not. It is a delicate issue that looms in the halting contract negotiations between the union and the district: How to improve decent teachers and boot bad ones without unfairly persecuting teachers who simply differ with principals or work with students who are harder to reach.
And it is no surprise that after a turbulent year marked by budget cuts, teacher layoffs and a bruising school board election fueled with union dollars, San Diego Unified and the teachers union are at odds on that controversial issue. But it is unclear if a new school board sympathetic to the union will continue the push by the previous board to use data more aggressively in teacher evaluation.
“Whether or not this new board continues down that road is something they have to choose,” said Superintendent Terry Grier.