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.” Read more
What’s the education policy that most damages the teaching profession? Sixty-nine percent of State Teachers of the Year and finalists for State Teacher of the Year say it’s the use of standardized student test scores in teacher evaluations.
The survey by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) also found an overwhelming majority (81 percent) of respondents do not support teacher evaluation systems that rely significantly on the results of student standardized test scores. Read more
A room full of parents, students, educators, and community members listened to a panel at Trinity College discuss problems with SBAC and test prep in urban public schools.
Although much of the media coverage surrounding parents opting their children out of state tests has focused on white, suburban parents, these families are not alone in taking a stand against tests they see as having no value for their children or schools.
At a panel discussion last week at Trinity College, Black and Latino parents shared their own stories of opting their children out of SBAC and talked about the lost instructional time and excessive test prep students and schools are facing.
If you haven’t yet felt the need to let your legislators know why SBAC shouldn’t be part of your evaluation, comments today made by state Board of Education members should drive you to action.
After an hour of intense discussion and strong reluctance towards delaying the use of SBAC in teacher evaluations for one year, members of the Board today ultimately voted for the postponement recommended by an advisory committee—with stipulations.
Board members made very clear that they will not accept any further delays in tying SBAC to teacher evaluations. Members said that, if left up to them, SBAC will be part of teacher evaluations for the 2017-18 school year. Read more
Many CEA members are featured in a new commercial about the problems with unreliable testing.
Teachers are turning up the volume on the problem of unreliable testing that has overtaken Connecticut public school classrooms.
“We are airing new TV and digital ads that raise awareness—from parents to policymakers—about the need to reduce testing and test prep and restore more time for learning in our classrooms to help every student achieve,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen.
“As Connecticut’s largest teacher organization, we have stepped up and spoken out consistently about the problems associated with the SBAC test. Now we are taking our efforts to a new level with our advertising campaign,” she said.
Connecticut teachers are relentless in their focus on student growth and achievement despite the state’s ill-advised and misguided support of the unfair, invalid, and unreliable SBAC test. 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.
Education Committee members Sen. Danté Bartolomeo, Rep. Robert Sanchez, Co-Chairs Sen. Gayle Slossberg and Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, and Sen. Gary Winfield all voted in favor of advancing the bill.
Teachers across the state are applauding the legislature’s Education Committee today for putting children before politics and moving the SBAC/teacher evaluation debate forward. The Committee voted to send SB 380—the bill that would decouple SBAC scores from teacher evaluations—to the Senate.
CEA President Sheila Cohen said the vote shows that legislators want a greater focus on student learning, not testing, and a better tool to evaluate Connecticut’s teachers.
“We are grateful to the teachers who contacted the members of the Education Committee. We are pleased that many legislators listened to teachers’ concerns and to mounting evidence that using SBAC scores in teacher evaluations is harmful and does not improve student learning. We look forward to continuing the momentum and working with legislators to ensure a teacher evaluation system that is valid, fair, and reliable,” said Cohen.
More and more voices are joining the chorus calling for an end to invalid, high-stakes, standardized assessments. Researchers at prestigious California universities are speaking out and raising questions about the validity and fairness of SBAC similar to those voiced by Connecticut teachers.
The California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education, made up of 115 researchers at California universities including Stanford, UCLA, and UC Berkeley, raises serious concerns about SBAC and other similar assessments in a research brief. Read more
Members of CEA’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Commission Juanita Harris, Anthony Thompson, and Mia Dimbo spoke with reporters including WNPR’s David DesRoches. Also pictured (at left) is CEA Policy Director Donald Williams.
“Teachers are all for accountability that’s going to be valid,” Bridgeport math teacher Mia Dimbo told reporters and legislators this morning. “We want to be accountable with something that really measures our success.”
Dimbo and other members of CEA’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Commission came to Hartford today to share their perspectives on bills to decouple SBAC permanently from teachers’ evaluations and improve the recruitment and retention of minority teachers.
At schools in Connecticut’s urban centers, many students come to kindergarten without high-quality preschool experiences and already “behind” on many conventional measures of school readiness. Unfortunately, when schools don’t have the resources to provide the individualized academic instruction and social and emotional supports many students need, the students fall farther behind.
Dimbo said that at Wilbur Cross School, where she works, there is no full-time guidance counselor, social worker, or school psychologist, and there are insufficient numbers of paraprofessionals and interventionists. Teachers, therefore, are left to carry a heavy load—addressing a wide variety of student needs that go far beyond the academic realm. Read more
CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg and CEA President Sheila Cohen urged PEAC to prohibit the use of SBAC scores in teacher evaluations.
Raising their voices today before an advisory committee to the state Board of Education and speaking up at a legislative public hearing on Monday, teachers are making it clear that the student assessments that count in their evaluations are not a subject that should be “kicked down the road” indefinitely by Connecticut policymakers.
CEA President Sheila Cohen said, “We are operating under a delay in linking almost one-quarter of a teacher’s evaluation to state mastery examination scores (SBAC). State education officials enacted that delay two years ago. Indications today are that they want yet another delay—a stalling tactic that diverts attention from the all-important job of educating our children.”
Cohen continued, “The time is now for quick and decisive action on the SBAC linkage to evaluations. There is no scientific or research-based evidence that such a link is valid, reliable, or fair for the purpose of teacher evaluation. No vendors of mastery examination tests claim their test is a valid measure of teacher performance.”