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Teacher suspended after defying Hillsborough school district's evaluation system

The article mentions that this new teacher evaluation system is paid for "in part" by the $100 million received from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Reader Comment: About time teachers quit being martyred. Stand up for yourselves.

Reader Comment: Thank you, Joseph Thomas, for having the courage to stand up for common sense and fairness in this new system. So many of us live our professional lives in fear of the system because there is very little chance that we will be rated an exemplary or accomplished teacher in any of the domains on that rubric. Not only is it ridiculous to have a "peer" who doesn't teach your subject area or age group, it is also insane to hold teachers accountable for the lack of rigor in an observed lesson when the lesson comes from a scripted curriculum designed to push all students into AP classes/college.

By Marlene Sokol

TAMPA-- A veteran teacher was suspended Thursday for rejecting the evaluator chosen for him under a Gates-funded initiative that is revolutionizing the way the Hillsborough County School District assesses its teachers.

School and union officials believe this is the first such act of defiance under Empowering Effective Teachers, a complex system of mentoring and evaluation funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The district's action comes just one day after the couple themselves, Bill and Melinda Gates, toured Jefferson High School, where the computer mogul hailed the program as a national model and called its success "phenomenal."

Joseph Thomas, 43, a social studies teacher at Newsome High School, said he refused to schedule a peer observation because he feels the evaluator, Justin Youmans, is not qualified to judge him.

Youmans, 29, has his experience teaching elementary school and sixth grade, according to his school district biography. "He thinks like an elementary school teacher," said Thomas, a teacher for 18 years.

Officials in the school district and the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association said the evaluators undergo extensive training. . . .

The St. Petersburg Times does not allow full posting of their articles. For the rest of this one go to the url below.

— Marlene Sokol
St Petersburg Times





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