A school district in South Carolina, educating approximately 45,000 K-12 students, received a US Dept of Education Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant and recently requested a one-year extension to delay the full implementation of its TIF-funded (and federally backed at the tune of $23.7 million) teacher evaluation system.
The US Dept of Education noted that the district received TIF funding as based on the district’s assurance that it would meet the grant requirements along with its timeline. The district superintendent said that she “wasn’t inclined to move forward with any district-wide evaluation system until she had more confidence in it than she [currently] does.”
The most major concerns are about the systems’ value-added component. The US Dept of Education gave the district a bit of leeway on this, and their expressed concerns, but only in terms of the value-added component for the district’s high school teachers.
District administrators and its (supportive) school board will soon have to have an open discussion about next steps, with one option being to return their remaining TIF funds to the US Dept of Education. As stated by one district teacher, “It seems to me that the path forward is clear…It’s time to let go of the grant.”
Check out the full article here.