Being a leader isn't always easy

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Baltimore City is among a growing list of districts taking the important step of implementing a new evaluation system that links student results with teacher ratings.   

As much as 60 percent of the staff in some schools received unsatisfactory midyear evaluations. This is a big change from prior years when few teachers were rated unsatisfactory.  Some teachers are concerned that the evaluations are unfair and a way for the district to avoid pay raises that high-performing teachers are now eligible for in the new contract. District officials contend that the new evaluation system is a way to provide teachers with the support they need to become more effective in the classroom — something clearly needed in a district with a history of underperformance.     

While there may still be kinks in the system, developing clear standards and providing teachers with meaningful feedback is a critical step in the right direction and certainly a culture shift.

Susan Douglas