MCS Teachers Get Test Results -- 1,344 below Expectations, Could Face Termination

By Roberts, Jane | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), May 15, 2012 | Go to article overview

MCS Teachers Get Test Results -- 1,344 below Expectations, Could Face Termination


Roberts, Jane, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


About 80 percent of Memphis City Schools' 6,400 teachers scored well enough on their new evaluations to be fairly confident about their jobs.

The remaining 1,350 are performing below expectations. Those not terminated will have to make measurable gains in the coming year to keep their jobs.

The district released the final scores late Monday after spending the day informing an unknown number they were being terminated. Principals made the recommendation to Supt. Kriner Cash.

District staff, including Cash, would not respond to questions about the evaluations until today.

The majority of teachers (39 percent) scored 3 or "meet expectations" on the 1-5 scorecard. Forty percent scored either a 4 or "above expectations" or a 5 or "significantly above expectations" and are considered at the top of their profession. Teachers of that caliber help their students make two or three years of academic progress per school year.

But 2 percent of city schools teachers (128 teachers) rank at the bottom of the scale, scoring 1 or "significantly below expectations." Nineteen percent (1,216 teachers) scored 2 or "below expectations."

Teachers receiving a 1 or 2 can be considered for termination.

According to state law, teachers scoring 3 or better meet expectations. However a 3 is not high enough for a fourth-or fifth- year teacher hoping to get tenure.

Teachers received their results late in the day on Monday. Stephen Glover, a tenured Spanish teacher at Hillcrest High, was crestfallen, describing his score as "barely a 3.

"I'm not happy. I'm not in a tested area, so I have to take the school's literacy score, which is a 1," he said.

With student test data counting for 35 percent or more of the evaluation, his overall score would have been higher in a school with stronger test scores.

"When I get into my summative conference, I am not going to sign it. I am going to say, 'see attachment, get all my data and file it there and let it fly,'" he said.

He expects his rebuttal will trigger an appeal.

"I'm one of 5,000 teachers that expressed concerns about the observation process. What really irks me is I am one of the individuals that helped design the observation rubric."

Teacher union president Keith Williams expects numerous appeals over the level of support the district provided teachers during the process, saying each was to get tailored professional development to help them with weaknesses identified in the first observation last fall. …

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