After potentially two unsatisfactory reviews, teachers statewide could get the axe, according to Eric Shea, president of Hatboro-Horsham Education Association, the union representing the district's teachers.
"There's going to be some anxiety with our teachers," Shea said after Monday night's Hatboro-Horsham School Board meeting in which the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Educator Effectiveness Project was discussed.
The state-mandated evaluation system is not something that is permitted to be a component of teacher contracts going forward, Shea said. What the new evaluations really mean for district teachers is yet to be determined.
"We're in a waiting pattern like everyone else," Shea said.
Even though the new teacher evaluation system was put in place on July 1, Hatboro-Horsham Superintendent Curtis Griffin said schools are awaiting more specifics on its implementation.
Ultimately, 15 percent of teacher evaluations will be based on the performance of the school building where the teacher works, Griffin said, adding that each school throughout the state will receive a score of between zero and 100.
Evaluations will take into account various academic achievements via students' performance in Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and SAT/ACT test scores; college readiness benchmarks; math, science, reading and writing progress; demonstrated progress among historically underperforming students; promotion and attendance rates; and "extra credit" for PSSA advancements, Griffin said.
"I will not know what we look like until I see the results the first time through," he said. "It’s still too hard to understand the calculations behind it."
The remaining 85 percent of teacher evaluations would be "based on traditional style observations," Shea said.
To help oversee the rollout of the new teacher evaluation and subsequent principal evaluation–which takes effect on July 1, 2014–the board on Monday hired the district's former co-curriculum director, Karen Czarny, to serve as a curriculum consultant. Czarny will be paid $40,000 through July 31, when her employment agreement ends.
Czarny was the "lead person" on the state-mandated project two years ago when legislators first began discussing it, Griffin said, adding that her insight is "so valuable."Griffin said he expects to have more details on the evaluation system later this month and will give an updated presentation at the board's Oct. 7 meeting.