Newly commissioned group looks to revamp teacher evaluations - - Columbia, South Carolina

Newly commissioned group looks to revamp teacher evaluations

State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais has put together a new advisory team that will look to find better ways to better evaluate teachers across South Carolina.

The newly formed team, made up of 25 teachers from 57 school districts the state, hope to provide new ways to help teachers improve their performance in the classroom.

Right now, South Carolina scores teachers based on their district choice, their impact on an individual student's learning, and their professional performance. The score also has a breakdown of the teacher's overall ranking in five categories ranging from exemplary to ineffective.

On paper, it works. However, some teachers like Lorri Creswell feel that bad teachers can find ways to beat the system.

"I have friends who are not great teachers and, in evaluations, I'm as proficient as them," Creswell said. "I know what they do and I know what I do. So what I'm afraid of is good teachers are going to become as lazy as those who are still staying."

Creswell believes finding a solution will be tricky . Between grades, impact on students, and time spent working outside of the classroom to help students, there's so much to be considered for effective evaluation.

That's why quality evaluation and teacher retention played a pivotal role in each campaign platform in this year's superintendent race. Republican candidate Molly Spearman and Democrat Tom Thompson each point out the need to revamp the system on their respective websites.

However, neither candidate could be reached for comment.

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