ELIZABETHTOWN — Some Bladen County teachers may soon have a new measuring rod with which to judge effectiveness. At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, the board approved a local option for evaluation of art, music, AP and foreign language teachers.
Standard Six, for all teachers, is a measurement of student growth and teachers of subjects covered in standardized testing, such as math and science, are measured by the standardized test, as it as deemed as an effective tool for measuring progress. Teachers of classes such as art and foreign language have been using another tool.
Currently, such teachers are measured by selecting five objectives and creating evidence to support student growth from one point to another. The time lapse from point A to point B is determined by the teacher, who can also choose the format of the submission, such as video or tests. They submit the evidence to trained evaluators, who look for growth rather than achievement. Teachers receive a “meets” expected growth, “doesn’t meet” expected growth, or “exceeds” expected growth.
Teresa Coleman, assistant principal at East Bladen, told the board that issues exist with the current system.
“The technology is an issue,” she said. “If an evaluator can’t open the the submission because they don’t have the right kind of program on their computer, the teacher receives a ‘does not meet’ score. Additionally, the score doesn’t help teachers become better, because there is no feedback, only the the ‘does not meet’ score.”
The main change would allow for evaluation by the principal, in collaboration with the teacher, instead of an unknown evaluator. Positives of the change include more detailed and meaningful feedback, original artwork, such as a painting, can be submitted, and teachers would be free to teach the whole curriculum instead of focusing on one objective for six weeks.
Board members, however, saw problems with the system.
“What if the principal doesn’t know the subject matter?” questioned board member Ophelia Munn-Goins. “How are they going to evaluate if they don’t know a musical scale, for instance?”
Coleman informed the board an allowance existed for such an occasion, and that a committee of three peers knowledgeable about the subject could evaluate as an alternative.
Board members did not seem completely convinced about the proposal, and admitted that both the current system and the proposed system had both challenges and benefits. In the end, they approved the proposal, which will now go to the state board for approval.
In other action, the board:
— Heard from Jose Rodriguez, who informed them that students who drop out of high school in order to attend the adult high school program at BCC will no longer be counted as dropouts on the school system’s reports.
“It’s about time,” said Chairman Wibur Smith.
An Agreement of Affiliation was signed by Supt. Robert Taylor and BCC President William Findt.
“There’s a wonderful relationship between BCC and Bladen County Schools, and I appreciate the opportunity to be here and sign it,” said Findt.
— Recognized all 13 schools’ Teacher of the Year nominees, East Bladen’s Cheryl West as the system’s Teacher of the Year, and Kristi Smith as the system’s Teacher Assistant of the Year.
— Recognized the East Bladen’s girl’s varsity basketball team for its outstanding year.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.