Group claims teachers’ jobs are at stake under new CCSD evaluations

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A group is speaking out against Charleston County School District’s new way of grading teachers.

The district is in the middle of contract renewals for the upcoming school year, but some say teachers are being blindsided in the discussions.

Patrick Hayes is a teacher for CCSD and also the director of EdFirstSC, an online forum for education issues. He says it’s the only thing the group has been talking about since last week. “It’s horrifying, said Hayes, “their performance being evaluated based on test scores that was never announced previously.”

Hayes says other teachers have been calling him and are worried about losing their pension.

CCSD issued a memo after word of discussions spread, saying in part:

“During these meetings, district leaders have shared multiple school and teacher data points, including: state evaluation results, Classroom Observation Tool (COT) scores, student test scores (achievement and growth measures) and professionalism measures. One step of these meetings includes a review of teachers who have been identified by multiple data points who may be in need of extra support. Specifically, conversations are occurring about teachers who have COT scores of 2.79 or lower and negative growth measures on state-standardized tests over the last two years. These data points do not dictate principal action; they are, instead, being used to begin conversations about data-informed decisions, and appropriate supports for the classroom.”

Hayes says he just wants the district to know there are better ways to inform teachers of such a serious topic. “It left people feeling traumatized – not just the teachers,” said Hayes, “principals and staff reporting that they have been very upset about this, literally crying over the phone.”

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