HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An independently done survey of Hawaii's public school principals criticizes the Department of Education's new teacher evaluations. Seventy-five percent of the 160 principals who filled out the survey said the Educator Effectiveness System has had a negative impact on their schools.
"We're hearing things like it takes three hours at the minimum to do an evaluation for one teacher. If you have a hundred teachers at your high school, that's a lot of hours," retired Kaiser High School principal John Sosa said.
Sosa and retired Moanalua High School principal Darrel Galera created the survey
It shows 94 percent of responding principals believe that implementing the teacher evaluation system has hurt faculty and staff morale, while 78 percent said it's taken time away from preparing students for the new national test.
Galera said it's a step back, not a step ahead.
"I'm going to use the word embarrassing in terms of not keeping up with what the leading districts across the country are doing," he said.
But DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe said the new teacher evaluations will be adjusted over time, and the survey doesn't reflect that.
"The way things have been characterized, it really doesn't validate the hard work that people have done to do the work so we can look at the data and make the improvements," he said.
Over 65 percent of the principals who responded also said they fear the DOE will retaliate if they complain.
"There's been threats. There's been compliance. There's been, 'You have to meet these deadlines or else,'" Galera said.
"That starts creating this atmosphere -- one where people say, 'We better not say much or we better not question, because if we do then bad things can happen,'" Sosa said.
Nozoe said that's not true.
"We've built our system different from other places where they're trying to fire people and get rid of them," he said. "We want to build our capacity."
The survey was conducted over a ten-day period last month. The results are being sent to the Board of Education and state School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
To view the survey results and comments click here -> http://bit.ly/1hMRtqv