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Our conference Q&A session was a big hit, but not all of the questions could be answered. Let’s take a look at one. . .

Q:        A teacher has prior good evaluations and new administration comes in and gives poor evaluations and proposes nonrenewal. Is this allowed?

A:         Generally speaking, yes, this is allowed as long as the nonrenewal is based on a legitimate, non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reason and complies with the school district’s nonrenewal policy. Not all supervisors have the same work performance standards and expectations. Different supervisors may have different views of employee work performance. Having said that, in a litigation scenario where an employee is claiming discrimination or retaliation, the fact that the employee previously received positive performance evaluations could serve as some evidence that work performance was not the real reason for nonrenewal. That, coupled with evidence of a discriminatory or retaliatory motive, could help the employee prove their case. A change in evaluation ratings alone, however, is not likely to change the outcome of nonrenewal as long as the district follows all nonrenewal policies and procedures and can show that it treated other employees the same under similar circumstances.

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