CEA is offering an interactive workshop on teacher evaluation free to members this September and October. This ninety-minute workshop is being offered in locations around the state to allow as many members as possible to benefit from this valuable information and have their questions answered.
Register for a workshop.
When it comes to teacher evaluation, choosing the appropriate student learning objective (SLO) is likely one of the most important decisions teachers make over the course of a school year. Not only are SLOs weighted more than any other single part of a teacher’s summative rating, they also have a profound impact on the learning opportunities students will experience and the expectations they will face. Read more
CEA President Sheila Cohen and CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg, who both serve on PEAC, said mastery tests are not designed for the evaluation of teachers or administrators.
The Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) yesterday took a giant step forward in addressing teachers’ concerns regarding the use of state mastery examination results in teacher evaluations. PEAC defined the clear use and purpose of the state mastery exam, agreeing that it should not be used to evaluate teachers.
PEAC unanimously agreed to recommend new guidelines for educator support and evaluation programs to the State Board of Education. These new guidelines support the use of state mastery test scores to inform educator goal setting and to inform professional development planning, but prohibit their use as a measure of goal attainment or in the calculation of the summative rating for an educator. Read more
At today’s PEAC meeting, CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg and President Sheila Cohen held a small group discussion with SDE Commissioner Dianna Wentzell and New Haven Federation of Teachers President David Cicarello on the question of the appropriate use of state mastery tests.
CEA leadership pressed the state’s Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) today to answer a fundamental question: What is the purpose of the state mastery test?
Frustrated that the group has examined the same question for months—with no progress on articulating an answer—CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg told PEAC members, “We’re retilling already tilled soil. What I’m suggesting is that we have to define, as a body, the appropriate use of a mastery test in the state of Connecticut. We need to make a recommendation to the state of Connecticut. We need to take a position on that. If we can’t agree on the purpose of the state test and how it’s going to be used, then we’re lost.”
At today’s PEAC meeting in Hartford, Waxenberg and CEA President Sheila Cohen, who represent teachers on the council, reiterated the Association’s position that state mastery tests should not be used in teacher evaluation. Read more
Please print and share with others in your local Association.
An unprecedented Superior Court decision has sent shockwaves across the education community in Connecticut. Meanwhile, the long arm of the federal government is reaching into schools with the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). There has never been a more pressing time for teachers to band together and speak out to influence once-in-a-generation judicial, legislative, and regulatory issues.
That’s why CEA is hosting County Forums around the state this October. Attend to
- Learn the latest on how CCJEF and ESSA would impact our classrooms.
- Speak out for our students and our profession.
- Meet with legislators to share our concerns.
Register to attend a forum. Read more
New guidelines distributed to superintendents this week have the potential to increase the effectiveness of local Professional Development and Evaluation Committees (PDECs) and ensure teachers’ voices are heard in discussions about teacher evaluation and professional learning.
The guidelines were developed by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) after CEA and AFT-Connecticut brought teachers’ concerns to the council.
“Most districts want to follow what is required by statute, but sometimes there is confusion or districts aren’t aware of what is required,” said CEA Teacher Development Specialist Kate Field. “I’ve found in my work with local Associations that there are often teachers and administrators who aren’t aware that there needs to be a representative from the local bargaining unit on the PDEC.” Read more
History teacher Jahana Hayes spoke at a pep rally in her honor at John F. Kennedy High School after being named National Teacher of the Year.
“There’s this common misconception that teachers don’t like evaluation, and that’s not accurate at all,” National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes told WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil.
In an interview yesterday on Where We Live, Hayes touched on many aspects of her teaching career at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, her experiences growing up, and what it’s been like to be thrust onto the national stage. A long list of news outlets have featured Hayes and her inspiring story since she was named National Teacher of the Year earlier this month, however Nalpathanchil also probed into Hayes’ thoughts on current education policies and issues. Read more
Connecticut is one of only 14 states still using SBAC. A recent report on state testing by Education Week shows that 61% of public school students live in states that are NOT using the federally funded PARCC or SBAC tests.
Six years ago, 45 states had signed onto the federally sponsored tests, but in 2015-16, only 20 are staying with those tests.
And those numbers don’t demonstrate the full loss of confindence the tests have experienced. Of the 20 states using SBAC and PARCC, five are not using those tests to measure high school achievement.
Connecticut teachers have been sharing research that shows SBAC is unfair, unreliable, and invalid, and is not an accurate way to measure teacher performance.
Proposed legislation here in Connecticut (SB 380) would permanently decouple teacher evaluations and state mastery examination scores (SBAC). Unless legislators act, districts will be required to start using unreliable SBAC scores in teacher evaluations in the 2017-2018 school year.
Your legislators need to hear from you! Click here and tell your legislators why SBAC shouldn’t be part of your evaluation.
CEA President Sheila Cohen (at right) and CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg discuss CEA’s new teacher evaluation proposal with Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell at today’s meeting of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council.
CEA championed people over process at today’s meeting of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC). CEA President Sheila Cohen and Executive Director Mark Waxenberg pressed education leaders to act quickly and decisively to make the current, two-year waiver from using mastery exam (SBAC, CMT, etc.) scores for evaluation permanent.
“We’re up against a time limit here,” said Waxenberg, referring to the fact that some of the issues that PEAC can address would require action by the legislature, which adjourns May 4. CEA believes that people—students, families, teachers, and administrators—are being hurt by the new evaluation system rolled out in 2013. CEA leaders say it does not translate into improved learning for students and is unnecessarily bureaucratic and a time drain for teachers and administrators.
Cohen stressed, “We do not want to see what is happening at PEAC not coincide with what is happening in the legislative session and go past the legislative adjournment. Then the time we would have had to make substantive change will be gone, and that is not satisfactory.” Read more
CEA President Sheila Cohen and Executive Director Mark Waxenberg shared the Association’s plan to present new teacher evaluation guidelines with the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council at its meeting this morning.
CEA is proposing significant, concrete improvements to Connecticut’s teacher evaluation guidelines based on new opportunity in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that passed the U.S. Senate this morning.
At today’s Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) meeting in Hartford, CEA President Sheila Cohen and CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg, who represent teachers on the council, announced the Association’s plan to refocus state education policy on student learning, not excessive testing.
Cohen said, “Given the numerous issues that continue to interfere with a successful educator evaluation system, teachers—together through CEA—feel it is important to act and take a leadership role in proposing new evaluation guidelines.” Read more
“We applaud Congress for getting the job done—passing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—and doing what is right for students, teachers, and public education,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “ESSA represents a new beginning for students who have suffered too long under Connecticut’s failed policies of top-down reform and a broken system where excessive test prep and standardized testing rules the classroom.”
The U.S. Senate today passed ESSA after it passed the House last week. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law tomorrow. Read CEA’s news release here.
“ESSA gives students new opportunities, support, tools, and time to learn,” said Cohen.
The bipartisan bill reauthorizes the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The most recent version of ESEA, known as No Child Left Behind, was signed into law by President Bush in 2002. Read more