Teachers face harsh consequences from evaluation

Amelia Johnson

IMPACT, an extensive evaluation of DCPS teachers, considers not only a teachers’ conduct at school but also their attendance, playing a big role in end-of-semester rankings.

“For their evaluation … that includes things such as attendance, and whether they’re respectful to students, other staff, parents, and families,” 11th grade assistant principal Camille Robinson said.

These factors are measured through the IMPACT section titled “Core Professionalism”, the basis of the evaluation, outlining the requirements of teachers throughout a school day, specifically the expectation of zero unexcused absences or late arrivals with a point-deduction system measuring them. 

There are only three levels for Core Professionalism: Meets Standard, Slightly Below Standard, and Significantly Below Standard. If a teacher receives a rating of Slightly Below Standard during a cycle, ten points will be deducted from their overall IMPACT score. 

With such a system, a teacher with one unexcused late arrival would receive a score of Slightly Below Standard. 

Points accumulate throughout the year, finally determining a teachers’ stance on the Leadership Initiative for Teachers (LIFT) career ladder; the more points a teacher gets, the more recognition and opportunities become available.

Teachers are required to arrive at school by eight in the morning. “They have a 10 minute grace period and, per the Washington Teacher’s Union, have to sign in on the sign-in book. That happens right outside the main office,” Robinson said. 

Wilson environmental science teacher Dani Moore feels the late policy hasn’t affected her. “I’m usually at school pretty early, so I haven’t given this policy a lot of thought,” Moore said. She speculates that the policy may more significantly affect teachers who are parents and need to drop their kids off in the mornings.

However, French teacher Anna Foxen emphasized the fact that ​​a teacher who has even one unexcused tardy in a semester loses 10 points from their IMPACT score. “I feel that the expectations and consequences are pretty clear, but the recommended consequences can be harsh,” she said.•