The Charleston County School board is meeting Monday evening for the first time since a controversial shuffling of staff members at several schools and a popular principal’s resignation.
It will be the public’s first chance to speak directly to the board about its concerns following backlash over the last few weeks.
Charleston County School District Supt. Dr. Gerrita Postlewait addressed the public saying MAP scores cannot be apart of evaluations, and she’s trying to figure out where that idea came from.
“We’re trying to figure out where the disconnect occurred, [interruptions] but I think the disconnect occurred when staff said to some principles if there’s a red flag on the [test] scores you should consider putting this teacher on an assistance pan, and improvement plan, formal contract, I don’t know I wasn’t there,” Postlewait said.
At Monday night’s meeting the building was at capacity for people wanting to attend the meeting.
Many teachers came out to talk about the issues they face within the district that stem beyond the movement of principles.
“There are teachers being put on improvement plans and these were excellent teachers some of whom I know to be excellent teachers and that a lot of it was based on MAP data which as I said and that is never going to be sufficient for teacher evaluation I knew I had to say something,” CCSD teacher Lisa Trott said.
CCSD Board of Trustees member Michael Miller said changes will come, but over time.
“Results or excuses you can’t have them both. So, we can’t do something and go back and say we should have done it differently. No body’s perfect but we have to do a better job of communicating,” Miller said.
Postlewait has put together a set of goals for the district, one of them focusing on communication.
More than 200 people protested outside the school board’s building in downtown Charleston over the reassignment of James B. Edwards Elementary School Jake Rambo and West Ashley High School Principal Lee Runyon.
Rambo sent his resignation to the school district’s board of trustees via email at 6 p.m. Tuesday. In the letter, he said he plans to resign from his position in June and makes several accusations regarding what he calls his reassignment to another school. The letter alleges Rambo was being transferred to another school because of low MAP scores at JBE. Rambo also claimed he was asked to lie to the public about this transfer, rather saying it was “[his] decision to leave JBE and that [he was] ‘called’ to lead a school with students who need [him] more.”
The following day, the school district issued a statement in response to Rambo’s letter that stated the district regretted Rambo’s decision to resign but was “disappointed in the way he has chosen to handle this matter, and with the disruptions that his misrepresentations have created for his school.”
Concerns with principal reassignments and teacher evaluations brought out more than 100 people in protest on May 8. Teachers, students and parents upset with actions being taken by the district said they want to put an end to it. The district’s Board of Trustees Chair Kate Darby said it is a process that happens every school year.
Principals are employed by the district, not by a specific school, she said.
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