Local Connection: New Public School Rating Process

Local Connection: New Public School Rating Process

By: Rick Blangiardi

It is good practice, and it's good for employers to measure the effectiveness of their employees, so after a long debate, Hawaii's public school teachers are going to undergo a new rating process.

Teachers initially balked at the evaluation process but in approving its last contract, they agreed to the new rating system which also helped the state comply with its $75 million race to the top grant.

Half of the evaluation will be tied to student learning, growth and test scores. The other half will involve classroom evaluations and student surveys.

Now, although student surveys make up only 10 percent of a teacher's overall grade, it is cause to wonder how seriously the students will take the surveys, or for that matter, will have the interest, or attention spans to fill them out completely.

There's also the concern that they could provide students with a way to get back at teachers they don't like.

Again, evaluations are necessary to keep the best teachers in their jobs, for good teachers to become great and properly acknowledged and for below-par instructions to be shown the door.

But the student surveys make us nervous as they will have an impact on pay raises teachers receive beginning July 1, 2015. We'll be watching the process as it moves forward and hope the students will be fair and earnest in evaluating their teachers.