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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion
Fri Nov 11th 2011, 01:53 AM
Hillsborough County is one which took hundreds of millions of dollars from Bill and Melinda Gates. They have done their policies in accord with Gates' wishes. After all, money buys influence. No one reads much about any problems there, but I hear through the grapevine that many teachers are upset.

In fact last I heard at least 370 teachers in that county alone were seeking early retirement.

They were not happy with the system. Here is a teacher who got suspended for speaking up about it. May I say I don't blame him. The chosen evaluator is out of his field, and it is not fair.

From the St. Pete Times:

Teacher suspended after defying Hillsborough school district's evaluation system

A veteran teacher was suspended Thursday for rejecting the evaluator chosen for him under a Gates-funded initiative that is revolutionizing the way the Hillsborough County School District assesses its teachers.

School and union officials believe this is the first such act of defiance under Empowering Effective Teachers, a complex system of mentoring and evaluation funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

.."Joseph Thomas, 43, a social studies teacher at Newsome High School, said he refused to schedule a peer observation because he feels the evaluator, Justin Youmans, is not qualified to judge him.

Youmans, 29, has his experience teaching elementary school and sixth grade, according to his school district biography. "He thinks like an elementary school teacher," said Thomas, a teacher for 18 years.

He is suspended with pay pending investigation. I gather one does not defy the edicts of Gates.

Here is more about how the Gates plan works in Hillsborough County

It's interesting that the county is getting money from Bill Gates to pay their teachers.

It would seem to me that it crosses an ethical or legal line somewhere. I know, I's all okay if you are trying to get rid of teachers...anything goes.

But think about it. The Gates money is paying for merit pay for some teachers while teachers with tenure are being fired, hundreds of them. I wonder how much input that foundation gets into who gets fired, what tenured teachers need to go? Oh, wait, it doesn't matter, it's only teachers.

And get this part:

In their application last year for the Gates grant, Hillsborough officials told the foundation they expected to fire at least 5 percent of the district's 8,500 tenured teachers each year for low performance, once a new evaluation system is established. That would amount to around 425 tenured teachers dismissed or counseled out annually, nearly two for each school in the district."

In Florida it takes 3 long hard years of being observed to even get tenure. Yet this county will use Bill Gates money to fire 5% of those tenured teachers.

Where are the political leaders speaking out for these teachers??

Good luck to Joseph Thomas of Newsome HS.
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