Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Teachers grade pay, promotion system

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Teachers in Cincinnati Public Schools say they need more training for one of the nation's first performance-based pay and promotion systems to work here.

        District officials say broader training is planned for next year to help teachers understand the evaluation system, which was partly im plemented last school year as way to raise student achievement.


        The pay portion of the system goes into effect in August 2002 unless voted out by the teachers' union in May, or if the board of education rejects it then.

        Under the system, teachers will be evaluated and paid according to whether they meet standards in 17 proposed areas.

        About 74 percent of 2,998 CPS teachers returned surveys about the evaluation system for a report released Monday.

        Among the results:

        • 71 percent of respondents undergoing a comprehensive evaluation — to occur in a teacher's first year, third year and then every fifth year of service — said they have a good understanding of the procedures involved in the evaluation system, while 46 percent undergoing an annual assessment said they have a good understanding.

        Comprehensive evaluations are more in-depth, while annual evaluations are done in the other years.

        • 33 percent undergoing the comprehensive evaluation said they received adequate training on the purpose and processes of the new evaluation system compared with 26 percent undergoing the annual assessment.

        • 59 percent undergoing the comprehensive evaluation said the evaluation standards describe the kind of teaching teachers should strive for compared with 42 percent of those undergoing the annual assessment.

        That's largely because the district last year concentrat ed on training teacher-evaluators, said CPS Associate Superintendent Kathleen Ware.

        Sue Taylor, president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, said the results didn't surprise her.

        “Teachers want to know what they have to do to be better teachers and how to raise student achievement,” she said.


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