The president of the Arlington Education Association said last night the results of a new teacher-evaluation system are inconsistent, based on inappropriate factors and have created an uproar among teachers, many of them concerned about merit pay proposals.
AEA President Paul Moran asked the County School Board to throw out parts of the system and refrain from taking some of the evaluations into consideration.
Teachers packed the School Board's auditorium to hear Moran tell board members that the majority of teachers responding to a recent AEA survey said the new evaluation system ranking teachers outstanding, successful, satisfactory or unsuccessful has insulted and upset teachers rather than motivated them.
If the board meant to improve teacher performances, "You must admit this year's experiment failed," Moran declared.
Ten teachers testified that the evaluations, conducted by school administrators, were based on such factors as attendance at faculty social affairs, school plays and an administrator's "gut feeling."
Teachers received their yearly evaluations under the new four-category system this month. Previously, they were evaluated on a two-category system rating them either satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
Statistics on the number of teachers classified in each of the new categories this year were not available from school officials. Moran said before last night's meeting the majority of the 392 teachers who responded to his organization's survey were ranked successful. "Very few" were ranked below successful, Moran said. The county has approximately 930 full-time teachers.
At a time when school systems across the country are considering merit-pay systems, Arlington's "outstanding" ranking is a sore point among many teachers, Moran said. A County Board-appointed task force has recommended that the county adopt a merit-pay system that would eventually include teachers.
"I can't imagine what'll happen if they keep the system as it is now and attach money to it," Moran said.
Moran asked the board to review the evaluations of teachers ranked below successful, eliminate the "outstanding" category and not consider the current evaluations in the next teacher recalls or transfers. The board made no comment on the suggestions.
Earlier this week, AEA Executive Director Marjorie McCreery said: "There is a lot of uproar. I've never seen so many people demotivated, demoralized and very angry."
In other action last night, the board voted to send about 300 Reed Elementary School students to McKinley and Tuckahoe schools when Reed closes in 1984. The board also amended an earlier boundary shift by giving students headed for Yorktown High School the option of attending Washington-Lee High if they have a brother or sister who attends that school.