Janine Plavac: I am underrated


Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 2:37 p.m.

Teachers in Alachua County public schools have received their final teacher appraisal for last school year. We had completed two components of our revamped appraisal process before school ended in June, but our final appraisal was waiting for student performance scores based on FCAT reading and end of course math scores.

But for teachers like myself who don't teach math or FCAT reading, of course that subject matter is incorporated into our Academy of Health Professions. I was assigned 21 ninth-grade students in my freshman class, and my final evaluation as an "highly effective/effective/needs improvement or unsatisfactory" teacher was based on a very complicated model but essentially these students had to show gains in reading and math.

My evaluation from my principal was highly effective (40 percent), lesson study component highly effective (20 percent) and then student performance called VAM (value added model) worth 40 percent.

Imagine my shock when my final appraisal was only effective when I was highly effective, in fact perfect in all the other components and have always been highly effective for my entire teaching career.

As a faculty at GHS, we are so disappointed at the process that our Legislature have devised. As the former High School Teacher of the Year in 2008, I know I am a highly effective teacher but being a great teacher is not nor will it ever be something I can attain again with the present evaluation tool.

I will not sign my final appraisal and hope that our School Board will support us in sending a message to Tallahassee.

Janine Plavac is director of the Academy of Heath Professions at Gainesville High School.

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