Teachers remain cautious about the proposed Davis School District's 1989-90 career-ladder plan - particularly about how administrators will evaluate them under the plan.
Kathie Bone, Davis Education Association president, said the plan has drawn mixed reviews. Teachers are still wary of a plan to have administrators evaluate them over the course of three days. Presently teachers are evaluated on a single day after making an appointment with an administrator.Bone said the evaluation instrument, the Davis Education Evaluation Plan, is a major reason for concern about the change in evaluations.
"We are concerned about the instrument, DEEP, that requires quite a structured lesson plan," Bone said noting that it would be difficult to use the evaluation in unscheduled "drop-in" classroom visits.
The new career-ladder plan, developed by a 12-member committee, also includes modifications in several areas including performance pay and adding a "mentor" position for senior teachers.
The Davis School Board is scheduled to take a final vote on the plan May 2. Meanwhile, the committee is trying to work out concerns with the plan.
Bone took issue with a recent report by Betty Ashbaker, the district's director of in-service training, to the board that indicated the Davis Education Association's executive board had unanimously approved the plan.
"We usually don't have unanimous approval of anything. We continue to support the career-ladder program, but there are disagreements particularly with the performance pay aspect. Teachers strongly appreciate having the extra days. Teachers need to have that time," Bone said.
The career-ladder system rewards teachers for their performance in the classroom. It also pays wages for seven preparation days and outside projects such as developing specialized curriculum. Recent programs developed through career-ladder money include kindergarten pre-assessment programs and specialized curriculum for the visually impaired.
The seven preparation days are used in preparing lessons, grading and long-term planning with other teachers.
The 1988-89 budget for the district program is $4.5 million. About 49 percent, or $2.2 million, of the total budget goes to fund preparation-day salaries. Another 11 percent funds performance bonuses, the most controversial part of the plan. It is projected that the budget will remain for the 1989-90 plan, Ashbaker said.
Ashbaker said that 90 percent of the district's 2,250 teachers participate in some segment of the career-ladder advancement program. Some 70 percent qualify for career-level pay. More than 50 percent participate in the controversial performance bonus system.