Gates project will get a look on Tuesday
Tough questions might be asked at Tuesday's workshop on the Gates initiative.
The Hillsborough County School Board will discuss Empowering Effective Teachers at a 9 a.m. session in which they cannot vote, but can evaluate the groundbreaking teaching reform effort.
Representatives of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, which is a partner with the school district on the project, will be there.
The seven-year project, which received $100-million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will ultimately change the way pay and career tracks are determined, from a seniority system to one based on performance. It also provides mentors for teachers. Similar Gates-funded projects are under way in other communities, including Pittsburgh.
Implemented a year before the state ordered its own education reform measures, EET rates teachers in three ways -- the standard principal evaluation, a peer evaluation, and a data-driven component that is based on test scores.
The second component -- the peer evaluation -- sets EET apart from other Florida systems, and has prompted complaints to the union and the school board. Members April Griffin and Stacy White have said at board meetings that some teachers feel demoralized by the process. Longtime union president Jean Clements narrowly avoided a run-off in this year's re-election campaign, largely because of dissent over the peer reviews.
During Tuesday's workshop, the board will discuss observer training and calibration, the results of teacher observations, and feedback teachers are getting received from their observers. -They'll also highlight changes in their training.