Disparate Views of Teacher Performance in San Francisco

By Stephen Sawchuk — February 19, 2009 1 min read
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The folks at the New Teacher Project have put out a district-level analysis of staffing policies in San Francisco.

There are a lot of interesting findings to pick through, but the section that most struck me concerns teacher evaluations. Let’s start with the actual figures: According to the report, only 5 out of 1,804 teachers received “unsatisfactory” performance ratings between 2005-07, while 86 percent of teachers earned one of the top two ratings.

Now, take this finding: In a survey of 90 principals, 38 percent said that they assigned higher evaluation ratings to tenured teachers than their performance warranted. Contrast that with a survey of 950 teachers, where 34 percent of teachers thought they should have earned a higher rating.

In other words, more than a third of principals think they are not tough enough on teachers, and more than a third of teachers think that principals are too tough on them. With this disparity, it’s no wonder so many teachers view their principals as vindictive.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.