According to a press advisory issued earlier today, the Connecticut Education Association will hold a press conference at 11am at the Legislative Office Building on Thursday, January 7, 2016 to call on Governor Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly to “join with the majority of states in the U.S. that have replaced the federally-sponsored SBAC or PARCC tests with better, more authentic and effective assessment programs.”
If the announcement is as impressive as suggested, it would mean that the leadership of Connecticut’s teacher unions have finally moved 180 degrees from the position they held on January 25, 2012 when the CEA and AFT joined with the other members of Governor Malloy’s Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) to approve the so-called “teacher evaluation framework” that inappropriately and unfairly mandates that student’s standardized test scores be a major factor in the teacher evaluation process.
The CT Mirror reported on the development that fateful day in January 2012 in an article entitled Coming soon: teacher report cards based on student performance;
Years of disagreement have stalled efforts to grade teachers and dismiss those who are ineffective. That all changed Wednesday when a group of educators — including teachers’ unions, superintendent and school board groups — agreed on how to properly evaluate teachers…
“Districts are really going to embrace this,” said Diane Ullman, Superintendent of Schools in Simsbury and a member of the state panel responsible for creating an evaluation process districts must follow. “We’ve been waiting for this.”
The plan calls for student performance and testing to count for half of the grade the state’s 50,000 teachers receive. The remaining share will be linked to teacher observations and parent and peer feedback surveys.
“I think we are 100 percent there,” Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council as he pointed to the presentation on display outlining the plan. “That’s our system.”
The group agreed teachers should be evaluated as follows:
- 45 percent on student learning indicators (things like test scores and attendance);
- 5 percent on how the school performs as a whole or student feedback survey;
- 40 percent on teachers’ observation and practices;
- 10 percent on peer and parent feedback surveys
In a statement, Malloy called the agreement a “milestone.”
“Connecticut has taken a major step toward a meaningful teacher evaluation system,” Malloy said. “Today’s consensus proposal has real potential to increase teacher effectiveness — and as a result, to elevate student achievement.”
…both the state’s teachers’ unions said Wednesday they are on board with this plan. ‘This is very robust,’ Mary Loftus Levine, head of the Connecticut Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, said of the plan. ‘This is a pretty good plan,’ agreed Sharon Palmer, leader of the state’s American Federation of Teachers chapter. “Yes, student improvement and growth is playing a huge role, but it’s factoring it in in a fair way.”
After the PEAC vote, an article appeared on the CEA Blog that sought to persuade teachers that the new teacher evaluation system was good news. The CEA Blog explained;
A council working to develop new educator evaluation guidelines reached favorable consensus today on a basic framework that will meet the needs of Connecticut teachers. CEA has been a strong advocate for teachers as a member of the state Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) that has been meeting for over a year.
“It was a compromise by consensus, which was reached after many months of long, tough conversations,” said Mary Loftus Levine, CEA executive director. “What the positive consensus shows is that all education stakeholders want the same results. And we and other members of PEAC are pleased to have developed a structure for a fair, reliable, and valid evaluation system with accountability for all. Student achievement is the overarching goal.”
CEA’s voice on the council has resulted in a framework which is consistent with the goal of elevating the teaching profession by holding everyone accountable, while producing a new evaluation system that is fair, valid, reliable, and useful. The area of greatest teacher concern and focus in PEAC’s work has been how to define, implement, and include “multiple indicators of student academic growth and development.”
In short, with today’s favorable consensus, PEAC is recommending a three-tiered system with no single test score or indicator being used to assess student learning. It has achieved this goal with fair and balanced weighted percentages as follows:
Multiple indicators of student learning will count as 45% of the evaluation. Half of that 45% weight will come from a standardized test, which would be either the CMT, CAPT, or another valid, reliable test that measures student learning.
Teacher performance and professional practice will be weighted at 40%.
Other peer, student, and parent feedback will be weighted at 5% with professional activities counting for 10%.
Malloy’s inappropriate initiative mandating an unfair teacher evaluation system has been a cornerstone of his pro-Common Core, Pro-Common Core testing, Pro-charter school and anti-teacher agenda.
Check back here at Wait, What? for details following the CEA’s press conference on Thursday.