Teacher to Eakins: I'm demoralized by the peer system
More teachers are reaching out to Hillsborough superintendent Jeff Eakins, including one from Anderson Elementary School, who wrote him this letter about morale under the Gates-funded peer evaluation system.
Maria Sanchez' letter follows two weeks of teacher town hall meetings, where emotions were high and Eakins listened intently to their descriptions of workplace frustration.
Although Eakins refuted our reports that said he was dismantling the evaluation system, everything he has said since then points to a dramatic restructuring that will end the practice of peers coming in from outside a school, observing a lesson and issuing a score that might count against the teacher. Watch this video and fast-forward to minute 20. Eakins, in describing the committee that is working on the changes says: "There's been one non-negotiable that we've kind of put on the table, that all these models that we create must be non-evaluative. That means teachers supporting teachers in a more coach support role rather than an evaluation role."
Seems pretty clear.
In a previous session, Eakins estimated that re-assigning the peer evaluators to other roles -- perhaps as coaches, who in some cases could be paid out of funds other than general-revenue -- can save the district $10 million a year and help with its budget problem.
As Eakins' committee is wrapping up its work, look for more developments after the school district re-opens next week.