MCS teacher evaluation system under investigation

(WMC-TV) – After a new evaluation system put Memphis City Schools' teachers' jobs at risk, the system is now vowing to investigate those results.

Close to 150 teachers will find out in the next two weeks if they will have a job next year. This comes as part of a controversy surrounding the district's new evaluation process, which the district has now promised to look into more thoroughly before anyone is terminated.

School may be out for summer, but nearly 150 teachers are hardly relaxing in the sun because come school time they could be jobless.

"They have been recommended by their principals not to work in the district next year," MEA President Keith Williams said.

Though the teachers are upset that they are being judged through a brand new process, and now it seems district administration agrees. Thursday, Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash attended a meeting at MEA headquarters to hear teacher concerns. The next day he sent out a letter with MEA Keith Williams letting teachers know this year no one will be terminated based solely on the evaluation process.

"Each teacher will be given his or her day. They will be vetted individually and certainly the data has to be accurate," Williams said.

Even with that guarantee, there are still concerns.

A lot of teachers are still confused. Teachers received a letter if they are on the non-renewal list. Many principals circled a reason. Others didn't so some teachers still don't know why they are on the list.

If the reason for termination wasn't based on their evaluation score, then it could only be one of four other reasons. Williams is working to get a reason for all of the cases. Still, he along with another teacher we spoke to by phone who served on the evaluation process committee believe everyone is finally on the same page after the letter was sent out.

"It reaffirmed our joint commitment to it and it made me feel really good," teacher Margaret Box said.

Of the 130 or so teachers given termination notices, Williams says the district has told him only 19 of them were on the list because of the evaluation process.  

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