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Some Teachers Don’t Want Evaluations Viewed By The State

The Missouri State Teacher’s Association, or MSTA, is not happy with a new state policy. This new plan requires school districts to send teacher evaluations to the state. KSMU’s Adam Hammons reports.

School districts in Missouri have teacher evaluations for the sake of improving teaching practices. These evaluations and practices were only a part of the district level. Starting this year, these evaluations will be sent to the state.

Earlier this year the state accepted federal stimulus money with a condition: districts will now have to tell the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education what evaluation practices they use, how they use the information from the evaluations, and how individual teachers scored.

Many teachers across the state and the Missouri State Teacher’s Association are upset with the new plan. Todd Fuller is the spokesperson for the MSTA.

“One of the biggest issues is a privacy issue. And it’s information that we don’t necessarily feel that school districts should or have to provide to the state level.”

Fuller says another concern is how these evaluation records will be maintained. He says he doesn’t feel comfortable having someone in one part of the state being able to research specific teachers in another corner of the state.

“It wasn’t discussed with them at all and now the process is going to go into place, and they’re going to have to be sharing, districts are going to have to be sharing information that teachers feel is private and is personal information.”

Fuller also says that social security numbers will be a part of the information sent to the state. He says this is a privacy issue and should remain between the teacher and the district.

Glenda Thurlkill is a teacher and president of the Springfield MSTA. She says unless teachers have read about it, they will not know about the policy. However she says many teachers won’t be happy to find out.

“I think our teachers believe that their evaluations are a private matter between their site administrator, the district HR Department, and themselves.”

Last week the MSTA sent a letter of complaint to Missouri’s Commissioner of Education, Dr. Chris Nicastro. However, the plan is still in place.

For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.