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Teachers to rally against 'ambush evaluations'

Teachers to rally against 'ambush evaluations'

More than 250 teachers are expected to rally outside the Charleston County School District office Monday.

It’s a result of what they’re calling “ambush evaluations” and the teacher advocacy group EdFirstSC says teachers' jobs are on the line.

“A lot of people think it’s fair to look at test scores. What they don’t see is there are so many factors outside what teachers have done,” said Patrick Hayes of EdFirstSC.

The group says CCSD principals have called several veteran teachers into surprise meetings and put them on performance plans, which teachers believe is based entirely on test score data.

“Suddenly people are looking at that kid who’s asleep and the desk and they’re wondering, ‘Is that my job going away there? Is that me getting fired because I hear that snoring because that kid went to bed at 4 in the morning?’” Hayes said.

CCSD officials have not confirmed teachers are being placed on performance plans based on student test scores. The district has already re-assigned multiple principals to new schools next year.

Officials also say many principals' contracts have not been finalized for next year, leaving the door open for more possible reassignments.

“You need to look at how they’re being observed,” Hayes added of teacher evaluations. “When they walk in there, do they see good instruction? Some states will bring in student performance in some role, but this is taking student test score and making it the entire evaluation, and that’s just wrong.”

Teachers are expected to rally at 6 p.m. Monday outside the CCSD office at 75 Calhoun Street. Police are expected to help with crowd control.

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