The CEA Advisor will be arriving on your doorstep this week. Check out the issue (in print or online) to learn more about teacher evaluations, legislative victories, money for public education and teacher retirement, the latest on the CEA Sandy Hook Memorial, and much, much more.
As teachers, we’ve never been required to deal with so much change at once. And, as each initiative comes our way, we can’t help asking ourselves if each is change for change’s sake or meaningful change that will help our students.
When Connecticut’s sweeping reform legislation—Public Act 12-116—was enacted last year, we had high hopes. We also had our work cut out for us as advocates for high-quality public schools. We spent last summer and fall going over the law with a fine-toothed comb, conducting meetings to identify intended and unintended consequences of the legislation, and meeting with top state officials to share our concerns.
CEA was ready when the 2013 legislative session got under way in January. We explained to lawmakers what needed to be fixed in Public Act 12-116. We lobbied early and vigorously to generate critical changes.
Elevating the teaching profession is of paramount importance to us. So, it is with great pride that we report our success in securing a statutory voice for teachers in determining effective teacher evaluation plans. Teacher-informed evaluation plans will guarantee that we are the best teachers we can be. With shared goals, shared ideas, and shared solutions—mutually developed—our schools will be even better.
Additionally, the state now mandates a clear link between evaluation and professional development—an improvement that couldn’t have come too soon.
Join us in celebrating the following changes:
• Local school districts must now treat professional development and evaluation as one entity with one committee overseeing both, so that priorities and needs related to student outcomes will be fully addressed.
• The Professional Development and Evaluation Committee must include representatives selected by the local union.
• The revisions promote a robust dialogue regarding local plans for evaluation and support prior to their adoption and approval.
• The modifications also make teachers statutory partners in developing evaluation plans and give teachers the professional status they deserve on local committees charged with presenting plans to boards of education.
Nipping a very bad idea in the bud Public Act 12-116 mandated that some teachers would have to take and pass a test for their teaching certificates to remain valid. The notion of having their careers hinge on one test—for obvious reasons—didn’t sit well with many of our colleagues. Thanks to teacher advocacy and common sense, that mandate was deleted from the law books. Read more