Letter to the editor

Letter: Setting the record straight

Posted 7/19/17

The Douglas County Federation is compelled to respond to misinformation shared by Directors Geddes and Peck at a recent board meeting. They stated DCF is opposed to performance-based pay or basing a …

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Letter to the editor

Letter: Setting the record straight

Posted

The Douglas County Federation is compelled to respond to misinformation shared by Directors Geddes and Peck at a recent board meeting. They stated DCF is opposed to performance-based pay or basing a teacher's salary on evaluation.

In fact, in 1994 DCF helped develop an award-winning pay for performance system in collaboration with district administration. That system was developed with teachers, principals, parents, school board and community members, and included bonuses and negative consequences based on evaluations. Every aspect of a teacher's career was reviewed and considered as the system was designed. The guiding question for every decision was, "Is this best for our students?"

The system worked. Douglas County School District's children and employees flourished for years. These are documented facts. Unfortunately, that pay system and guiding principal of employee and community collaboration were summarily ended with the ideological shift of DCSD's board years ago.

However, one thing Geddes said was true: the current teacher evaluation system, CITE, isn't supported by teachers. It's ineffective, misaligned and often manipulated for political reasons. Sadly, it has created a negative environment in our schools and has contributed to our district's unacceptable teacher turnover rate.

But those aren't the main reasons teachers don't like it. Like the current top-down, punitive, and educationally unsound pay system, the current teacher evaluation system isn't good for kids. Teachers know what's best for their students and know these two systems make it harder to do their jobs, and ultimately meet the needs of their students.

It is regrettable that Geddes and Peck chose not to attend the recent DCF teacher panel discussion, where they would've learned the truth about what teachers, principals, and community members believe, and instead choose to invent a story that fits their political narrative, but is blatantly untrue.

Kallie Leyba

President, DCF

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