HOUSTON, TX – Decision makers in the workplace want to feel valued and appreciated. But a survey done by the Houston Federation of Teachers could indicate some unrest within the walls of the Houston Independent School District.
“We had not surveyed principals in the past, but we had gotten such a negative response on a teacher’s survey about evaluations, we sent out a survey late last year to see how it’s going,” said Gayle Fallon, Houston Federation of Teachers.
Based on the results, it’s not going good.
“We noticed we had teachers coming in that previously had high evaluations and suddenly their evaluations dropped with very little justification,” Fallon explained.
That raised some red flags. The survey asked the district’s principals questions like if they were “pressured to make decisions on teacher evaluations and retention by their bosses that they didn’t agree with.” According to Fallon, only 16% of them said never.
So, what does that mean?
“So that means someone who wasn’t in the building, wasn’t around the teacher, walks into the principals and says you need to lower that evaluation. You might want to consider terminating that teacher,” Fallon said.
Fallon says that the principals feel if they’re not firing someone or lower teacher’s evaluations, their bosses feel like they aren’t doing their job.
H.I.S.D. released a statement saying:
“At HISD, our core initiatives revolve around having an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective principal on every campus. To that end, three years ago, we completely overhauled our Teacher Appraisal and Development System to place a stronger emphasis on feedback, support and professional development, as well as student growth. We want our teachers and principals to feel supported and have the feedback they need to continually improve. More successful teachers lead to more successful students.
While principals are tasked with leading their campuses toward higher achievement, they also are expected to treat teachers with the dignity and respect they deserve as professionals. HISD has policies in place that are intended to guarantee all employees a healthy work environment, and the district is committed to enforcing those policies.”