What happens when you find out you’re being evaluated for the first time…in June?
What if you never got feedback on your last observation—and your next one’s coming up?
Are your student learning objectives (SLOs) appropriate? Do you have any say in setting them?
Get the answers to these and other questions in CEA’s free new guide, Teacher Evaluation Made Simple, available exclusively to CEA members.
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
National Teacher of the Year and Waterbury educator Jahana Hayes spoke in favor of a recommendation that the State Board of Education approved that prohibits mastery exams from being used in the calculation of teachers’ summative ratings.
The State Board of Education (SBOE) showed its commitment to students and teachers today by voting to remove state mastery test results from teacher evaluations.
“This is a big victory for students, teachers, and public education,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “The voices and expertise of teachers were heard and addressed by policymakers who did the right thing by putting the focus back where it belongs: on teaching, learning, and student achievement.”
The SBOE voted to approve new guidelines that clearly define how mastery tests can and cannot be used. The Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) recommended the new guidelines, which say state mastery test results can be used to inform goal setting and professional learning for educators, as appropriate, but cannot be used as a measure of goal attainment or in the calculation of the summative rating for an educator. 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
CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg discussed the use of mastery exam scores in teacher evaluation with other members of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council.
Connecticut’s Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) today acted on teachers’ concerns regarding the use of mastery examination scores in their evaluations. PEAC unanimously agreed recommending to the State Board of Education to continue the practice of not requiring mastery exam scores in teachers’ evaluations for the next academic year.
PEAC plans to continue to work on determining the appropriate use of mastery test scores and examining the current “matrix” used to evaluate teachers.
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
The state’s Mastery Examination Committee met today to discusses purposes of student assessment and the state’s new growth model.
At a meeting of the state’s Mastery Examination Committee today, committee members discussed the purpose and use of standardized tests.
“One of the real things that occurred in the last era was a misuse of the state exam,” Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell said. “It created an over-focus on the exam itself and a narrowing of the curriculum in some cases to the things that were assessed.”
Don Williams, CEA director of Policy, Research, and Reform, pointed out that education researcher James Popham has strongly cautioned against misusing standardized tests designed for one purpose to fulfill a completely separate purpose.
Popham writes that the validity of a test, such as SBAC, which is designed to evaluate school and district performance, is rendered invalid if it is used for purposes not fully supported by evidence. 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
EDUCATION CONNECTION Professional Development Specialist Susan Domanico, CEA Teacher Development Specialist Kate Field, and AFT-Connecticut Professional Issues and Development Coordinator Jennifer Benevento talked to PEAC about their work with Professional Development and Evaluation Committees.
Collaboration between teachers and administrators is key to shaping educator evaluation and professional development programs to improve teaching and learning and help all students succeed.
Most districts’ Professional Development and Evaluation Committees (PDECs) are collaborating and working well, while others could use additional support. That’s according to survey data reviewed by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) at a meeting this week.
PEAC reviewed surveys of PDECs by the state Department of Education as well as surveys CEA and AFT-Connecticut conducted of members who sit on PDECs.
The state Department of Education survey was sent out to PDECs in every school district and received responses from 81 school districts and five charter schools. Findings included that: Read more