Beginning later this year Connecticut teachers and principals from a select group of school districts will undergo evaluations that will tie their performance to the performance of their students.
The new evaluation system is the result of the education reform measure that was passed in the legislature this year, after months of contentious debate with teacher unions, and last month by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The law calls for just 10 percent of the state's teachers to be evaluated this year under the new four-tiered grading scale. The system for the first time would allow tenured teachers to be fired if they don't make the grade, something teacher unions fought when the bill was being considered by state lawmakers.
There were 42 school districts and consortiums that applied to take part in this year's pilot test of the new evaluation process, including Berlin, Portland, Suffield, Windsor, Branford, Cheshire, Montville, Waterford and Naugatuck. The governor's office has announced that 10 districts were chosen for the pilot;
- Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge
- Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)
- Columbia, Eastford, Franklin, and Sterling
- Litchfield and Region 6
“The selection of these pilot districts is another step forward in our effort to fix what’s broken in our public schools,” Malloy said in a press release announcing the selection of the districts. “The fact is that many of our state’s schools and most of our teachers are doing a tremendous job in preparing our students for the challenges they will face as adults. But without a fair and reliable evaluation system, teachers and administrators are left with no clear indicators of where they are succeeding and where they should improve. Learning everything we can from this pilot is a huge part of getting us to that goal.”
While participation this year was voluntary, next year it will be mandatory for all districts.