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Danielson Calls for a Major Rethinking of Teacher Evaluation

Contact your legislators. Go to www.cea.org/takeaction.

Contact your legislators. Go to http://www.cea.org/takeaction

Charlotte Danielson, creator of The Framework for Teaching, has had a lot to say about teacher evaluation over the years, and Connecticut teachers are hardly unfamiliar with her work. She’s now speaking out in a big way on the current state of teaching and teacher evaluation.

In a piece published yesterday in Education Week, Danielson writes, “I’m deeply troubled by the transformation of teaching from a complex profession requiring nuanced judgment to the performance of certain behaviors that can be ticked off on a checklist. In fact, I (and many others in the academic and policy communities) believe it’s time for a major rethinking of how we structure teacher evaluation to ensure that teachers, as professionals, can benefit from numerous opportunities to continually refine their craft.”

Danielson argues for a shift in focus from punitive ratings to professional learning. And not just out-of-the-box professional development, but professional learning from colleagues (rather than “experts”) that requires active intellectual engagement and encourages risk-taking.

Here in Connecticut, SB 380 is giving us an opportunity to begin this rethinking of teacher evaluation by ending the link between teacher evaluations and student SBAC scores. Policies that link state standardized test scores to teacher evaluations are misguided as these tests were not designed to evaluate teachers, and they are not an accurate means of showing a teacher’s true impact on student growth.

Though Danielson may not be familiar with the specifics of SB 380, regarding teacher evaluation practices nationwide, she writes, “These policies have been implemented despite the objections from many in the measurement community regarding the limitations of available tests and the challenge of accurately attributing student learning to individual teachers.”

Make sure your legislators know we need to end the link between SBAC and teacher evaluation. Click here and ask them to vote for SB 380.

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