Better way to develop teacher evaluation plan

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 21, 2013 

The education committee and the board of the League of Women Voters Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area read with deep concern the description of state superintendent Mick Zais' plan for evaluating public school teachers.

Moreover, they concur with the editorial published Jan. 6, stating that the remarks of the superintendent aimed at teachers were insulting.

Instead of antagonizing those who are concerned about better schools for the children of South Carolina, Zais should be fostering a united community, founded upon cooperation and mutual respect, wherein all citizens work toward the common goal of a first-rate education for each and every child enrolled in the public schools of South Carolina.

The league urges Zais to reconsider his adversarial attitude toward all of those concerned citizens who may disagree with him. It appears that he and his staff have developed a plan to evaluate teachers and principals without requesting any input from said educators. Nonetheless, before this plan is put into effect, we see an opportunity for the various actors -- the state Department of Education, the state Board of Education and the educators themselves -- to meet, to exchange views and to hammer out an evaluation plan that considers the positions of all of them, negotiate compromises where necessary and ensure that South Carolina's K-12 students are well-served by that plan.

Zais would do well to remember that teachers here do not belong to unions.

Karen Wilber Wessel

Hilton Head Island

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