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CMS teachers: evaluations unfair

http://66.225.205.104/SO20090423a.mp3

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools principals yesterday submitted their staffing plans for next school year. The lists include recommendations for layoffs. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more: The district is trying to plug a hole of more than $86 million. It calls for eliminating up to 782 classroom positions- most of them teachers. Under Superintendent Peter Gorman's plan to layoff teachers, the district will first look at those that aren't making the grade. Principals recently completed evaluations to determine staffing for next year. But Charlotte-Mecklenburg Advocates for Education President Mary McCray says some teachers have said they've not been evaluated fairly. "They're feeling like- from what I've heard- principals have been given a quota to get rid of and they're trying to do it. And they just feel like, you're not going to do this on my back," she says. McCray says some teachers have complained that throughout the school year they had strong evaluations, yet their summaries show low marks and they didn't get a chance to talk it over with supervisors. Gorman says teachers are free to exercise their legal rights. However, he defends his plan to make reductions based on performance. "These are tough times. You have to deal with that. And folks have different perceptions about their level of performance. I can tell you we just want the folks to do the best job with our kids. And I can tell you it's really sad for anyone who does get laid off," he says. McCray says the association is looking carefully at teacher complaints to learn whether the right procedures were followed. She says if they weren't, teachers could prepare to take legal action.