State Superintendent Mick Zals and his advisors at the South Carolina Department of Education want to give teachers letter grades of A, B, C, D or F based on their effectiveness, tied mostly to student performance on state and national test scores.
Unlike the business world and private schools, public educators canít pick and choose their customers. They have no quality control.
We have a state superintendent who has never taught in a public school or served as an administrator in a public school system. He has been the president of a private college.
After spending 43 years as a teacher, administrator and S.C. Department of Education consultant, I for one can assure you that Dr. Zais is truly lacking in hands-on experience when it comes to relating to the challenges our public school teachers and administrators face on a daily basis.
A good leader leads by example.
If Dr. Zais wants to give letter grades to teachers, then he needs to allow the teachers and administrators to evaluate him and his staff on an annual basis, assigning letter grades for their performances.
Our teachers have been the punching bag of our state superintendent, governor and state legislators for too long.
In my 43 years in public education, I have never seen a state superintendent and governor so anti-public education.
They want tax credits for home schoolers, and vouchers for private schools.
At the same time, they fail to adequately fund public schools.
In the last four years of my career, I served as a liaison with the Palmetto Priority Schools, S.C .Department of Education.
Part of my job was to conduct classroom observations of teachers, provide corrective feedback and coaching. I also did staff development for teachers and administrators.
I never observed a teacher who did not want to become a better teacher. Teachers would tell me, ďDonít tell me what to do, show me how to do it better.Ē
I suggest Dr. Zais and his advisors follow their advice and model good instruction.
If Dr. Zaisí plan is fully implemented, who will serve the students in our at-risk schools?
I have served two inner-city schools that had a student poverty index of over 90 percent with some of the most dedicated teachers and administrators I have ever worked with.
Do the teachers in these schools deserve an F rating because they canít do in one year what the elementary and middle schools couldnít do in eight years?
I would meet with parents who needed me to call their children to my office so they could get their childís paycheck to help pay the rent.
Just coming to school each day and showing up for class was a major accomplishment.
Dr. Zais needs some experience and a real dose of reality.
The next time our state elects or appoints a superintendent of education, letís at least get one who has some experience in the public school system.
Brooks P. Moore
Blue House Road