Legislative Action Collides With Advisory Group Intent
CEA is deeply concerned that state lawmakers have diluted this year’s education reform package by establishing legislative language requiring that teachers only have orientation regarding new evaluation models while administrators will be better prepared with full-blown training.
State lawmakers took action last night during a Legislative Special Session to pass implementer language necessary to enact Connecticut’s new education reform.
Today’s meeting of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) provided an opportunity for CEA to emphasize teachers’ concern. CEA Executive Director Mary Loftus Levine worries about how local districts would neglect teachers’ capacity to be on equal footing with administrators given last night’s legislative change.
“I think there is a significant difference between orienting someone and training someone to be prepared for a new evaluation system,” she said.
PEAC is developing model evaluation guidelines that will be presented to the State Board of Education on June 27 for a vote. Next year the guidelines will be piloted in 16 districts affecting 5,000 teachers. Loftus Levine says last night’s legislative change may have implications for pilot districts as well as other teachers in school districts across Connecticut.
Loftus Levine said, “The dangers we are concerned about were not recognized by others in positions of authority. As of July 1, the new education reform bill will be the law of the land. We could have local districts not provide training to teachers relative to evaluation processes under the guise of last night’s implementer law. Policymakers must rein things in.”
At today’s PEAC meeting, Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and state Interim Talent Officer Diane Ullman reacted assuring Loftus Levine that they intend to pursue training for both teachers and administrators in the pilot districts next fall.
Ullman said the State Department of Education is moving forward on parallel tracks for both teachers and administrators. “I am going to interpret it as training for both,” she said.