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Issues with new teacher evaluations in PBC

Posted at 8:06 PM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 20:06:32-05

Effective or unsatisfactory, those are the categories teachers can now fall under when their work is being reviewed. But of the approximately 13,000 teachers in Palm Beach County, only one was found to be unsatisfactory.

Denise Barcala is a Wellington mother of two. Lately she's been second guessing whether or not to send her kids to public school.

"To be honest, now that they're in elementary its ok, but once they go to middle school or high school I would prefer if they go to private.” Barcala says she's concerned about the way teachers are evaluated.

“They’re under too much pressure.”

Kathi Gundlach, president of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association is against the current evaluation system. Right now it is at the root of much of teachers’ frustration.

"It was never made to be an evaluation instrument, it was made to be a coaching model,” Gundlach said.

The evaluation model rates teachers highly effective, effective, needs improvement, developing or unsatisfactory. Palm Beach County only had 1 unsatisfactory.

Gundlach says this is in line with many districts our size. However she believes that the current model fails to address teacher inadequacies. She says it is not unusual for a principal to neglect their duties provide feedback or training after an evaluation is complete.

She credits this to the number of days principals are given to give feedback, one day.

"Should people be held accountable----absolutely. Is this the system to do it--- absolutely not.

Teacher's salaries are linked to these evaluations and if they score a needs improvement or unsatisfactory, they don’t get a raise.