Richards apologises to teachers over grading
Teachers were offered an apology yesterday for a failure of support and communication over the introduction of a new standards-based grading system in public schools.
Kalmar Richards, the education commissioner, admitted there had been “insufficient support, training and communication”.
She added: “When we assess where we are at this very moment with the implementation of standards-based education, we, the Department of Education, recognise that we need to provide more communication, more training and more support for principals and teachers in order to place you in a position to execute SBG practices with fidelity and confidence.
“We apologise for insufficient support, training and communication and for the impact that it has had on principals, teachers and schools.”
She was speaking as the education department ran a workshop for teachers on standards-based grading after a request from the Bermuda Union of Teachers.
Ms Richards told teachers: “The decision to become a standards-based education system was a decision made for children.
“It was a decision in support of placing greater emphasis on quality teaching and fair and reliable grading practices; it was a decision to transform education for Bermuda’s children.
“That decision, although a decision for children, requires site-based execution of standards-based education practices and principles by principals, teachers and other school staff.”
A government spokeswoman said the training course was intended to help develop a “common understanding” of the system.
Teachers and the Government have been locked in conflict over a range of problems, including standards-based grading, which the teaching union said had added stress to already overburdened staff.
Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, said teachers had “refused” to enter grades, but the Bermuda Union of Teachers said they had not been properly trained in the new system.