Teachers agree to new evaluation process

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Teachers in Benton Harbor Area Schools have agreed to new contract language that allows the district to remove them from a school due to poor performance, according to The (St. Joseph) Herald-Palladium.

Superintendent Leonard Seawood said at a school board meeting that the agreement makes it more likely that the Michigan Department of Education will approve the district’s redesign plan, which has twice been rejected due primarily to the teacher evaluation system, The Herald-Palladium reported.

The redesign plan was mandated by the state after Benton Harbor High School was identified as “persistently low-achieving,” the report said. Board trustee Martha Momany said that, without the new contract language, the result may have been a state takeover of the high school, according to The Herald-Palladium.

Seawood said the language does not necessarily allow removing a teacher from the district, The Herald-Palladium reported. Teachers will be evaluated every year instead of every three years, and may be given an improvement plan based on performance, the report said.

The (St. Joseph) Herald-Palladium, “BH teachers agree to annual review,” Jan. 12, 2011

Michigan Education Digest, “Teacher evaluation talks begin,” Feb. 19, 2010