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Statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen on New Flexibility Options in Teacher Evaluation

While this is a significant improvement for Connecticut students in public schools, it is only a first step in modifying existing guidelines and removing obstacles that hinder a student-focused system of public education. With today’s PEAC improvements, parents and communities can be confident that teachers will be able to enhance their impact on students—a focus put at risk this school year as teachers, administrators, and school districts were forced to put enormous time and resources into compliance and paperwork required by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Today’s PEAC changes will foster a new climate that moves away from strict guidelines and moves toward the healthy flexibility that our school communities sorely need—and need as soon as possible.

Significant problems emerged this past school year due to the conformity and compliance that characterized the new teacher evaluation system—including the overreliance on testing, the number of required formal observations, development of Student Learning Objectives, and onerous data collection—all which negatively impacted students.

CEA brought these issues to the governor and lieutenant governor, and insisted on frank and honest discussions about what helps high-quality education and what hurts. These discussions resulted in teacher evaluation guideline changes that eliminate obstacles to student learning in many classrooms—a very positive move forward in the best interest of public education.

PEAC’s action today has Connecticut making the right turn at a critical crossroads. But the right decision did not occur through serendipity, accident, or coincidence. It happened because Connecticut teachers care deeply about their students, and they spoke out intelligently and persuasively about the obstacles that state requirements had placed between teachers and students. As strong advocates for our students, CEA and its members will continue to be vigilant and press for continued positive changes so that reform is implemented right in Connecticut.

View a chart of the new flexibility options in four key areas.

12 Comments
  1. I hope CEA isn’t planning on peddling a story that Dannel has “changed” and that things will be better going forward. All he’s looking to do is to hold off on the worst parts of HIS education reform plan until after he is supposedly re-elected. Isn’t it interesting that he wants to slow down now… when the first version of his bill was seeking immediate implementation and stricter guidelines. CEA had better not endorse this man again… the rank and file will not vote for him anyways.

    January 29, 2014
    • Say it. Right on!

      January 29, 2014
    • Meghan #

      There is nothing that Dannel can do that would make me vote for him after what he has done to my school, students, family and personal health this year.

      January 30, 2014
  2. Thank you to all at CEA who made this happen. It is a good start to changing the onerous evaluation system put in place last year. Teachers are fine with having accountability- but the new system had teachers (and administrators) spending too much time on paperwork. This time could be better spent actually working with students.

    January 29, 2014
  3. Linda #

    Let’s all just hope this isn’t a ploy to get Dannel reelected. Well that’s silly….that’s exactly what this is. Let’s see…..you want to get down to business. Get rid of Pryor and his charter cheerleaders and place a real educator in charge of the CT SDE, then Dannel, maybe we can begin to take you seriously. Until then, this is just one more political tactic designed to benefit your campaign.

    January 29, 2014
    • Legislators still have a chance to save their behinds here. For Malloy however, too little too late; This man has no shame and lacks integrity. PLEASE do not cast a vote for the traitor in November!

      January 29, 2014
      • Linda #

        I will write in my dog first. Not to worry.

        January 31, 2014
  4. A great response from legislators. It might be the Republicans who end up saving us from this mess!

    http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=9861

    January 30, 2014
  5. Meghan #

    I am concerned about the three “informal”. Just because there is no paperwork, that doesn’t mean they won’t try to hold us to hitting all six domains in one 20 minute observation. Most of that stuff is not something you can easily observe which is why, as onerous as the paperwork is, it would be impossible to be proficient – let alone exemplary – without it. Also, since I have already done three this year, am I all set for the next nine years?? 🙂

    January 30, 2014
  6. Faith #

    This is a great example of when members stand together, CEA is strong! Thank you CEA Leadership for giving teachers the opportunity to come together with their Legislators and give a true picture of how CCSS and SEED has impacted our students and our profession. I encourage more members to take an active role in speaking and writing to their legislators. Your voice WILL be heard!

    January 30, 2014
    • Linda #

      Only in an election year, don’t get too excited.

      January 31, 2014
  7. Sue #

    We cannot vote for Malloy.

    He still endorses this bill; Pryor is still in power; the state department is still being run by reform consultants.

    This reprieve is a cheap trick. Never forget what Malloy said about our profession.

    January 31, 2014

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