Connecticut Teacher Union perfects the concept of Sleeping with the Enemy

Enough is Enough!

Evaluating Teachers using the results of the unfair, discriminatory and inappropriate Common Core SBAC test violates the most fundamental precepts of an egalitarian society.

But alas, in a blog post today, the Connecticut Education Association provided its members with a link to, “Resources to Support Educator Evaluation Committees.”

Rather than telling every CEA affiliate and member to BOYCOTT any and all teacher evaluation activities until Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy agrees to decouple teacher evaluations from the unfair, discriminatory and inappropriate Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test results, the Connecticut Education Association tells their members to access a PowerPoint Presentation that explains how to how to develop a plan that, “aligns with the evaluation guidelines’ requirements.”

But the sad reality is that as a result of Governor Malloy’s corporate education reform industry initiative, Connecticut’s existing teacher evaluation process includes a mandate that 22.5% of a teacher’s evaluation be based on the results of what the teacher’s students get on the Common Core SBAC test (and at least one other standardized tests).

This absurd, unfair and ignorant policy is state law despite the fact that every academic study has shown that standardized test scores are driven primarily by poverty, language barriers and the impact of students with special education challenges…all factors for beyond the control of Connecticut’s classroom teachers.

No union – in any state – should be assisting with the development of teacher evaluation programs that include the use of Common Core standardized test results.

Evaluating teachers using the results of the Common Core SBAC test is not only intellectually dishonest but morally reprehensible.

It is not only unfair to teachers, but to the students and parents of Connecticut because it will push away the best teachers from the most challenging classrooms.

In fact, the net effect of Governor Malloy’s unethical teacher evaluation system is that teachers who have the courage, conviction and principles to serve students who live in poverty, who face English Language barriers or wo need special education services will be disproportionately punished for devoting their professional lives to educating our society’s most vulnerable children.

To reiterate – To be clear – To be blunt – Evaluating Teachers using the results of the unfair, discriminatory and inappropriate Common Core SBAC test violates the most fundamental precepts of an egalitarian society and is nothing short of being UnAmerican.

But overlooking that “minor” issue, here is what the CEA is promoting;

Take a look and then tell your student’s teacher – they deserve better!

Resources to Support Educator Evaluation Committees

Professional Development and Evaluation Committees (PDEC) are beginning to review and revise teacher evaluation plans for next year, and CEA is offering resources to support the committees in their work.

New resources available at CEA.org are as follows.

1. Teacher Evaluation Plan Review and Revision: What should your PDEC do? This PowerPoint presentation outlines five basic steps for PDECs to use when reviewing their plans. It will help committees discover what’s working well, what’s challenging, and how the plan aligns with the evaluation guidelines’ requirements.

2. Teacher Evaluation Plan Review and Revision: What should your PDEC discuss? This section of the website contains several documents pertaining to specific evaluation components and processes for the PDEC to discuss.

Find these documents and more on the CEA website here.

  • Cort W.

    if you haven’t figured it out yet, Jon, there is a simmering conflict between the rank and file in the CEA and the leadership. It irks me that is one area I have not worked yet…

  • readdoctor

    Our children, their teachers, and their local schools are held accountable to testing that does nothing to address inequity. While the state of Connecticut is one of the 49 states who spend more money on their wealthy schools than their poor schools is not held accountable.
    Isn’t it time we start holding the state accountable?
    One Man Walking To DC In The Name Of Love,
    Jesse

  • Castles Burning

    You can align all that you want/are able to the evaluation system, but when the students are not able or wiling to perform (How long has it been since they were not “left behind” or have been “racing”?), then the teacher takes the fall. Perhaps CEA has become the enemy.

  • Gary Tobin

    DE-CERTIFY DE-CERTIFY DE-CERTIFY Attention Connecticut Teachers, De-certify And start your own Association.

    • R.L.

      You are right. The union has become merely a collective bargaining and lawyer insurance organization. On top of that they support politicians who do not support public education or the people employed in it. They supported Malloy, and mislead the public on his record concerning education. There is no stronger indictor than that as to how the union leadership is misrepresenting their members politically.
      Some of tried to organize.
      http://cape-teach.org/
      Very few partook, very few.

      • Bill Morrison

        R.L.
        Len and I started discussing reviving CAPE-TEACH yesterday. There has to be an alternative to the back-stabbing AFT and CEA leadership. It is almost impossible to vote them out of office because of the way the election and candidacy rules are written. The only alternative I can see is to de-certify and begin again.
        The first rule to change would be the manner in which union officers are elected. The second would be to implement an impeachment process. I wish we could impeach Peters. Her endorsement of Malloy would be justifiable grounds.

  • Bill Morrison

    Don’t forget that AFT-CT also supports these unfair evaluation guidelines, and that Melodie Peters supported Malloy’s reelection at the expense of member teachers. Shame on our union leadership! Damn them to hell!

  • cindy

    If you are in preschool, your entrance into Kindergarten depends on how well you test.
    If you are in third grade, being promoted to 4th depends on how well you test.
    If you are a middle or high school student, your future (promotion, courses, career and college options) depend on how well you test.
    If you are a teacher, your job depends on how well your students test.
    If you are an administrator, your job depends on how well your teachers’ students test.
    If you are a university, your teacher training program depends on how well your newly-prepared teachers’ students test.

    But districts and teachers can do what they want, right?

    • Bill Morrison

      Not in Hartford . . . social promotion is the order of the day. Then, they blame teachers and schools for test performance and student inability to read or do simple arithmetic! We need to make them see that horrible educational policies enacted at the BoE level and Central Office sets the foundation for all educational problems, It isn’t the teachers; its the office-holders and board members!

      • cindy

        I’m not sure that the implications of holding kids back is in full effect yet. I totally understanding the hatred of social promotion, but geez, let teachers do what they need to do k-3 to get kids reading. This test will fail more kids and derail the efforts of most teachers since it has kids learning skills early on that will actually inhibit learning to read. Recognizing “sight word” for example in K is nothing more than teaching circus tricks…and it will inhibit their ability to actually sound out tough words when they come along.

        Agree. It is not the teachers because they actually do know what works, and spend a lot of time trying to do what actually works, while also trying to do what the admin and office holders and BOE want them to do. Not good.

        • Bill Morrison

          As a high school history teacher, I am deeply frustrated by the huge volume of students who come to high school unable to read, write, or compute simple arithmetic. Remember, it is not the job of high school teachers to teach elementary school lessons. Our job is to teach high school content, and to do that, we need students who can read, write, and do arithmetic and math. I am a strong advocate of holding kids back in elementary and middle schools who have not learned that which they were taught.
          That said, I am also a huge advocate against common core. I agree, let we teachers do that which we know how to do. I am also a huge advocate of holding kids accountable for their refusals to learn in the early grades.

  • teeky2

    Guess CEA can’t figure out the after just a few years at an approximate 70% student failure rate you wind up with no teachers left. Or is that the plan that CEA is backing?

  • paulbogush

    Another point to remember about that 22% is that we are judged on test results, but many teachers are also forced to teach a certain way, use certain techniques, teach on a certain time schedule, use certain formative and summative assessments, etc…if we have ideas that would improve learning/test scores we cannot bring those ideas to fruition. Many teachers have to follow procedures put in place by people who don’t know us, don’t know our kids, have far fewer years experience, and in some cases no experience.

    I find it interesting that the schools with the highest scores are also schools in which teachers are given the most freedom to rely on their expertise instead of following procedure created by someone who has none.

    • Experience? It matters not.

      Your presumption that schools with the highest scores allow teachers “freedom” is incorrect; at least that is the case where I teach. My expertise means absolutely nothing at this point.
      My evaluator has no experience teaching the curriculum that I do.
      My evaluator does not even come close to having the years of experience that I have.
      Now I am to get bogged down collecting “data” on students to prove what I already know i.e, where the students will have the most difficulty with the curriculum. And if all that data collection takes too much time then I was told to take something out of the curriculum.
      This evaluation system is too much of an impediment to my teaching and the freedom I used to have. It is slowly but surely having a negative impact on students everywhere the results of which will not be pretty.

      • paulbogush

        Without knowing where you teach…what I have found in talking to 100s of teachers is that so often what one teacher thinks is a lack of freedom would be someone else’s dream. Just the fact that they told you to take something out of the curriculum shows you are in a place that provides some freedom–that would be a dream for so many people.

        • Experience? It matters not.

          It is not freedom. Quite the contrary. When the administrator says, “Well, just cut something! Then you can have the time to do your testing.” That is a glib and naive response. I have a curriculum approved by the school board and charged with the instruction of it. Cut something? To start cutting “something” for the sake of bogus data is not freedom. It is educational malpractice at best.

  • Charlie Puffers

    Could we start organizing some mini protests in our districts? For example, during full day PD’s on SLO’s (and/or any other drivel) everyone get up and walk out? or refuse to go? or PD sickout? How will those well dressed idiots at central office respond when everyone walks out on them reading their power point? Any young teachers nervous about missing something can be reassured that they are only missing hours of boredom or cell phone games.

    • R.L.

      Isn’t that “we” supposed to be the union which is supposed to be made up of “us”? The union was set up for purposes such as these, to organize it’s members so as to be able to apply the leverage of the worker in a way that shows the ruling class that, although they give the orders, shit doesn’t happen without the people actually performing the labor. Union leadership is afraid to organize the teachers. They might lose their cozy “seat at the table” if they did. The union is dying and it’s not because of the Scott Walkers of the world.

      • Charlie Puffers

        You are right, R.L. But, screw the leadership and let’s do it anyway.

        • Bill Morrison

          I would love to take the protest to our unions. Make them do their jobs by representing US not political leadership!

  • josewald

    This is precisely why I am retiring at the end of the school year. After teaching for many years, mostly in Hartford, I am devastated at what teaching has become! I hate teaching to a test and that’s what we do! I can no longer do what I do not believe in. Each year my class is totally different and that requires meeting their specific needs but that is not what is considered important in teaching today. Just make the benchmark regardless of the abilities of your students! And if you take a job in the suburbs,then your evaluation changes dramatically for the better! I love my students and I plan to return as a tutor where I can still work with them.

  • mookalaboona

    CEA has gone off the deep end. They endorsed Malloy and now this!. I have been criticizing them constantly on their Facebook page, and they blocked me from making comments! I called for the impeachment of the president and vice-president for going against their own PAC’s recommendation not to endorse anyone. They don’t represent their membership and they have a real nerve doing what they are doing!

  • cindy

    The unions seem to treat teachers so poorly, as if they don’t really care about the membership dues. Almost makes me wonder if there is some other plan to get membership, like unionizing students or something.

  • Bluecoat

    To the teachers hers,
    What Data are you collecting on our kids?
    Are you collecting psychological as personality information on our kids?
    Are you administering these tests as “survey’s or practice tests” as they get ready for the computer based and adaptive SBAC tests?
    How many of the 400 data points that are required to be collected on our kids, are you responsible to collect?
    Someday, it would be nice if parents like me can turn the tables on people who are seeing these idiotic things being done in our schools and have been reluctant to stop any of it.
    Maybe we can collect personal and private information on every teacher, principal, administrator, BOE member, including sexual preferences, voting records, medical history, and have you take personality tests, and psych. tests, and have all this information out on the web for everyone to see, and to be dissected, and analyzed?
    YOU should all be required to have palm scans, retina scans, blood samples, drug tests done to you as a requirement to teach in our schools , as many of these things are being done at an alarming rate around the country to our children.