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TDES Teacher Appeals and Grievances


TDES - Appeals 

 
In a high stakes environment there may be disagreement among well-meaning professionals about the nature of evaluations. Cleveland’s evaluation system acknowledges this possibility and our collective bargaining agreement (CBA) provides for an appeal process and outlines what areas of the evaluation may be subject to the grievance procedure.

 

The appeals process for teachers is outlined in the CBA in, Article 13, Section 1, H (p.55 in the bound copy).  Please note that the CBA does not include language permitting the Academic Superintendent (or Network Leader) to adjust ratings on the rubric as a part of the appeal process.

 

H. Appeals process – Following the first formal announced observation event and any subsequent event, a teacher may request the intervention and/or support of the Academic Superintendent within ten (10) working days. The Academic Superintendent will review the evidence regarding the events to date, and may take one or more of the following actions: 1. Co-evaluate the next event or events; 2. Assign a new evaluator to conduct a new evaluation to replace the prior event(s); 3. Uphold the evidence of the event; 4. Provide intervention, including more training, for the evaluator. The Academic Superintendent shall submit an electronic record of the request, his/her response, and the outcome of the appeal within ten (10) working days. The teacher may appeal the Academic Superintendent’s response to the TDES Steering Committee co-chairs within ten (10) working days. The TDES Steering Committee co-chairs will respond within ten (10) working days.   

 

If an Academic Superintendent decides to co-evaluate he or she will attend the next observation event with the evaluator and record evidence of the teacher’s performance.  The original evaluator still has the responsibility of conducting the evaluation.  The appealed event is not thrown out or changed. The Academic Superintendent does not assume evaluation responsibilities for that teacher.  The Academic Superintendent and evaluator will norm their ratings and the Academic Superintendent can coach the evaluator and make sure he or she is recording appropriate evidence, not opinion, aligned to the evaluation rubric.

 

In some cases it may be best for both evaluator and teacher to have a new evaluator assigned.  In that case the new evaluator will conduct a new observation to replace the appealed event, and may re-evaluate any previous events if the Academic Superintendent thinks that would be fairer for the teacher.   That new evaluator will become the teacher’s evaluator of record for the rest of the year.  

 

The Academic Superintendent can review any teacher’s evaluation and evidence following an appeal.   If upon review the Academic Superintendent decides the evidence is fair and reasonable that evaluation can be upheld.  The event will stand over the teacher’s objections.

 

The fourth option does not necessarily change the evaluation event, but permits the Academic Superintendent to offer the evaluator  additional training in order to support and refine the evidence collection process.  This option allows the administration to acknowledge the teacher’s issues and offer support to the evaluator.
 
If a teacher feels it is necessary, he or she can further appeal the Academic Superintendent's decision to the Co-chairs of the TDES Steering Committee. This request should be sent within ten working days of the Academic Superintendent's decision.  The Co-chairs will respond within ten working days of that request.

 

TDES – Grievances

The CBA outlines the aspects of TDES that can be grieved in Article 13, Section 6, (p. 60 in the bound copy).  Please note that the CBA limits grievances to procedures, not substantive ratings. The grievant must show substantive harm as a result of the procedural errors.

Section 6. Grievances A teacher may challenge any violation of the evaluation procedures in accordance with the grievance procedure in Article 6. The grievance will be limited to the determination of procedural errors that have resulted in substantive harm to the teacher and to ordering the correction of procedural errors. The failure of the board or evaluator to strictly comply with any deadline or evaluation forms under this Article shall not be cause for an arbitrator to determine that a procedural error occurred, unless the arbitrator finds that the failure resulted in substantive harm to the teacher. The arbitrator shall have no jurisdiction to modify the evaluation results, but the arbitrator may stay any decision taken as a result of the evaluation pending the board’s correction of any procedural error. The board shall correct any procedural error within fifteen business days after receipt of the arbitrator’s determination that a procedural error occurred.

 

TDES - Notification of Incomplete Evaluation Events

Under Article 13, Section 1(I) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teachers and evaluators have shared responsibility to insure that teachers are evaluated as provided under Article 13. If an evaluation “event” has not been completed as required, the teacher is required to initiate written communication with his or her evaluator first. This communication should be through CMSD email, in order to insure that it is received by the evaluator, and to make sure there is a record of the communication. If the problem persists, the teacher is required to communicate with the TDES Co-Chairs, advising them that an event has not been completed. The email can be sent to: TDES@clevelandmetroschools.org
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the TDES Co-Chairs, Lori Ward and Jillian Ahrens. 
 
If your evaluator has not completed your observation event by the deadline you need to email your evaluator noting your concern about your missing observation.  
For example,  "Dear Mr. Principal, The deadline for Walkthrough 1 is tomorrow and  I have not yet had my Walkthrough 1.  I am sending you this notice in accordance with the CBA Article 13 Section I and look forward to my observation.  Sincerely, Mrs. Teacher"  
This is the best way to document your lack of observation: 1. Email the evaluator 2. If the issue is not resolved email the TDES co-chairs.
Article 13 Section I (pp. 55 - 56 in the bound copy) contains the language that deals with notification in the event of an incomplete evaluation.
I. The evaluator and teacher have a shared responsibility to ensure the teacher is evaluated consistent with this Article... [A]ny teacher who is concerned about the timely completion of the evaluation procedure may, at any time, notify the TDES Committee co-chairs in writing. Any incomplete evaluations will be referred to the TDES Steering Committee co-chairs for resolution which could include a compressed evaluation schedule. If a compressed evaluation schedule is not possible, the teacher will be assigned the higher of his/her rolling average of the last three (3) years composite evaluations rankings for the Teacher Performance Data (rounded to nearest whole) or the last year’s evaluation ranking for the Teacher Performance Data. If that data is not available, a default ranking of “Developing” shall be assigned for the year where data does not exist for the Teacher Performance Data and where there is no documented communication initiated by the teacher with the TDES Steering Committee co-chairs to timely remedy the lack of any evaluation under this Article. Where the teacher has initiated, in writing, communications with the their evaluator, and if the concern persists, in writing with the TDES Steering Committee co-chairs advising that an event has not been completed in a timely manner in accordance with this Article, and where there is no Teacher Performance Data available, a default performance ranking of “Skilled” shall be assigned for that year. This ranking will be combined with the student growth measures for the year to establish the Effectiveness Rating...The timelines and/or procedures in this Article may be modified with the agreement of the TDES Steering Committee co-chairs for resolution to accommodate the evaluation of a teacher with missing evaluation data....
 
 

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