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New Teacher Evaluation Standards Begin This Year

Under the hotly contested school reform law pushed by the governor this year, teacher evaluations for the first time will be tied to student performance.

 

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
  • Branford
  • Bridgeport
  • Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)
  • Columbia, Eastford, Franklin, and Sterling
  • Litchfield and Region 6
  • Norwalk
  • Waterford
  • Windham
  • Windsor

“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.

Heidi Hand June 06, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Here is an interesting transcript regarding teacher evaluations: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/american-graduate/jan-june12/amgrad_06-05.html
David Moelling June 06, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I just completed a review of one of my junior engineers this morning. No big deal. If teachers want to be considered professionals they have to step up to the plate like everybody else. The argument that their superiors (principals, superintendents) cannot evaluate their work is absurd. The other argument that objective criteria like student test scores cannot be used is also absurd. Every parent plugged into the real parent network (not the subservient PTA type) knows who the teachers to avoid are. If you don't want your kid stuck with a loser, you have little recourse since the school system can't fix it either. Teachers cannot be professional if they are in a system that respects their intelligence and skills (or lack of them) less than any modern assembly line worker. First rate teachers should be paid accordingly but low skill ones should be out the door.
Tony M June 06, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Teachers have tried for years to be recognized as professionals but have been thwarted all along the way. Don't judge today's teachers too harshly, they do get trained in college, do student teaching and graduate thinking, I have my diploma now I'll be able to get a job teaching and put my skills into practice. My starting salary was $4,200. when I retired 37 years later, it was $51,000. It wasn't until 1964 that I got medical coverage. Not once did we at the time have to deal with parents disdain, lawyers ready to sue, and students unable to understand the language. Don't blame teachers for students not able to perform, blame the parents who don't tell their kids, "You are going to school to learn and be educated not to fool around and play games".

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