Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

For Pinellas teachers upset about evaluations, superintendent writes letter of explanation

For the many Pinellas schoolteachers who got less-than-perfect evaluations this year, superintendent Mike Grego plans to write a letter admitting the evaluation system itself was, well, less than perfect.

Grego said he is preparing the letter and it will be available to any schoolteacher who wants to put it in his or her personnel file. For teachers who suddenly got lower evaluations, the letter will explain that the complicated new state-mandated system was a work in progress,

He made his comments Tuesday at a workshop meeting of the Pinellas School Board.

This will be the second letter Grego has sent about the controversial evaluations, which set off a wave of anguish among teachers who complained that the new system was not only harsh, but hopelessly confusing.

Grego last month told educators, "It is clear that we need to revisit the teacher appraisal plan that was submitted by our district to the state over a year ago." He also said that if it proves necessary, "We should work together with our legislators to adjust the statute."

Grego said school and teachers union officials are continuing to look at the new system and work on proposed changes. But in the meantime, he wanted teachers and administrators to have this letter, which might shed light on those with sudden drops in their evaluation grades.

School Board members generally supported Grego's approach. Board Chairwoman Robin Wikle said with all the questions surrounding the new system, it makes sense to more or less take "a mulligan."

Board member Linda Lerner wanted more. She said she visited a well-regarded school where she was told three-fourths of the teachers will be given a "needs improvement" rating.

"When you are a highly effective teacher or very effective teacher and you get 'needs improvement,' this is serious," she said.

She said she didn't want Grego to sugarcoat his message by making it sound like the new system just needs a little touching up. She called it "the first year of a very flawed instrument."

Lerner suggested the School Board further refine the wording of the letter for teachers, but others on the board disagreed.

For Pinellas teachers upset about evaluations, superintendent writes letter of explanation 11/13/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The Florida Gators' case for QB Luke Del Rio


    GAINESVILLE — It took three years and two transfers for Florida's Luke Del Rio to become a starting quarterback.

    Florida Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio (14) warms up next to quarterback Austin Appleby (12) before the game against the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday September 17, 2016 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Final score was Florida 32 North Texas 0. (Monica Herndon, Times)
  2. Joe Henderson: Let's ask Speaker Richard Corcoran to spend some time in a sweltering classroom


    You've seen and heard the stories about how air-conditioning breakdowns created sweltering conditions in many Hillsborough County public schools. It is a sweaty, stinking, ongoing mess, and there is no quick fix.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, has been shifting money from public schools to charter schools. It could go to help cool sweltering classrooms, instead. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Guest column: Julian Craft worked a lifetime to help those down and out in Brandon


    Julian Craft died June 28. He was 84. In this memoriam, Brandon attorney B. Lee Elam, a friend and colleague, recalls Craft as a man with humble beginnings who spent much of his life offering a hand-up to individuals and groups across Brandon who desperately needed it. Craft's family asked that donations in his honor …

    JulianCraft knew how circumstances could put a family in dire straits so he  worked to help address the immediate needs of Brandonites before other aid kicked in. [ERNEST HOOPER   |   Times, 2005]
  4. Updates to Clearwater's development rules brings skeptical response to sea level rise from vice mayor


    During a discussion this week about updates to Clearwater's development rules dealing with sea level rise, Vice Mayor Hoyt Hamilton took a skeptical stance.

  5. Brandon motorcyclist dies after car turns into his path


    A motorcyclist died Thursday night after a car turned into his path on a Brandon road, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.