School admins trade harsh words with Superintendent Zais - - Columbia, South Carolina

School admins trade harsh words with Superintendent Zais


Harsh words Wednesday as state school board members spoke out against the latest teacher evaluation system that gives teachers an A through F letter grade just like students.

But in a resolution this afternoon, the South Carolina Association of School Administrators railed against the idea and against state Superintendent Mick Zais.

"This board lacks the legal authority to tie my hands regarding public policy," said Zais.

The SCASA again pitched their alternative.

"It actually rates teachers on four steps, that would be exemplary, proficient, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory," said Randy Vaughn, a board representative.

Beta tests right now in 22 schools rates teachers A through F along with value added and student growth data. Zais claims the board is pacifying "special interest education lobby groups" with the non-binding resolution to do away with A through F grades.

"This is enormously short-sighted," said Zais. "It clearly demonstrates they're not ready for a serious discussion on this issue because they are trying to abort an extensive, quantitative, scientific developmental process and instead putting partisan political issues ahead of public policy."

Board members hesitated to waste time on a policy they must ultimately approve, but maybe rejected.

"We're going to go along for three years with unrest, arguments, constantly bombarded with this information and in the end we're going to reject it, that is totally foreign to me," said board member Jim Griffith.

Zais promised the board he'll re-evaluate his program, but not mid-term. He says revisions could be made before the pilot program next fall.

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