A coalition of six of the state’s leading education and business groups – CAPSS, CAS, CABE, CBIA, CCER, ConnCAN – urge lawmakers to reject S.B. 1097 (“An Act Concerning Revisions to the Education Reform Act of 2012”)

Implementation of the new statewide teacher and principal evaluation program, the System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED) created as part of last year’s landmark education reform law (Public Act 12-116), will be compromised by a new piece of legislation (S.B. 1097) recently introduced by the Education Committee.

This prompted the Big Six, a group composed of six education and business organizations, to assert that lawmakers need to protect progress made last year for Connecticut children by not supporting S.B. 1097.

“Connecticut must move forward with the statewide teacher and principal evaluation program in accordance with the phase in schedule that was agreed to by members of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC),” said Joseph Cirasuolo, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS). “As a member of the PEAC, which helped develop the current model for the evaluation program, I think that the phase in schedule will allow districts to effectively implement the system. We can, therefore, make major progress towards the goal that we all share: ensuring that all children have access to the best teachers and principals.”

If passed and signed into law, S.B. 1097 would have the following impact:

  • Removes SEED implementation authority from boards of education: S.B. 1097 removes implementation authority from boards of education and gives it to a “professional development and evaluation committee.” Ultimately, school boards are held accountable for and are responsible for implementation of this program and corresponding results. In order to do this effectively, they must retain final decision making authority.
  • Unnecessarily delaying implementation of SEED: S.B. 1097 would delay the implementation timeline of the new system by one year, and require all school districts to fully implement the model in the 2014-15 school year. This overrides Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) and the State Board of Education’s (SBE) decision to phase-in the model gradually starting next year. More importantly, it removes the opportunity to phase in the system and to make adjustments based on that phase in.

“This is an unnecessary attempt to slow the progress that SEED will bring to our public education system,” said Robert Rader, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. “We owe it to our kids to ensure that teachers and principals get the feedback and support necessary to succeed, on the timeline that was reached by consensus at PEAC. We strongly urge members of the Education Committee to reject this bill and allow the PEAC and SBE models to progress as planned.”

All 26 members of the Education Committee voted in favor of last year’s landmark education reform law, which included the creation of the educator evaluator program. And public opinion is clearly in support of enhancing teacher quality this year. In fact, a recent Global Strategy Group poll of more than 600 Connecticut voters found that nearly three-fourths of voters (73 percent) believe that “evaluating teachers based on class performance” should be a priority for the governor and state legislators this year.

5 thoughts on “CT’s Big Six to Education Committee: “Protect Promise of Statewide Educator Evaluation System”

  1. Terry says:

    The survey was a push poll where you ask a carefully worded question that no one would disagree with and you plant an idea. It was reported in the CT News Junkie and this survey coordinated by
    ConnCon and Ochiogrosso is a joke.

    Do you want to save puppies and kittens? 100% said yes…can you believe that Nicki and Rae Ann? Shocking, just shocking!

  2. Terry says:

    From Christine Stuart, CT news Junkie:

    And just a reminder..Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, was able to find the wording on the survey question. Who would say no if the listener wasn’t up on the decietful ways of the privatizers. See here, from CT News Junkie

    Here’s how education reform was phrased in the poll question: “The education reform bill passed last year by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor takes essential steps to close Connecticut’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gap, raise standards for educators, allows immediate action to improve failing schools, increases access to high-quality public school choices, and improves how education dollars are spent. Having heard this information, do you support or oppose continuing these reforms?”

    No one is going to say they don’t like education reform when it’s phrased that way.

  3. A Teacher says:

    Have you read the NEAG report? The pilot was a disaster. Does that not fit your reformy talking points? I suppose once all the “bad” teachers are gone who somehow earned due process rights from the “great” administrator everything will be great. Poverty will end. The economy will improve. Their will be jobs for all and wars will cease. And pigs will fly.

  4. Teacher says:

    Read this:

    Earlier this week, Rae Ann Knopf of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform wrote an op-ed opposing raised bill SB 1097, urging Connecticut to “stay strong” in support of the so-called Big Six corporate education reform agenda. Other than a lot of dramatic hyperbole, she neglected to actually say much about what was the matter with the bill.

    I’ll be a bit more specific about one of the good things the bill does — it delays the implementation of a costly, inadequately tested teacher evaluation system for which there is a large body of research showing the negative impact on both student learning and teacher collaboration and instruction — not to mention morale.

    One hopes our legislators have been paying attention to the experience of our neighbors in New York as they listen to advocates from the Big Six (ConnCan, CCER, CBIA, CAPSS, CAS, and CABE). According to March report by the New York State School Boards Association and based on an analysis of data from 80 school districts, the districts outside the state’s five largest cities expect to spend an average of $155,355 on the state’s new evaluation system this year.

    That’s $54,685 more than the average federal Reach To the Top grant awarded to districts to implement the program.

    It’s about time legislators stopped listening to propaganda and started paying attention to research. Otherwise, we’re just going to pour more money down the drain without really serving our children or preparing them to live as educated, effective, employable, and ethical citizens in 21st century society.

    Read full article:

    http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/op-ed_legislate_based_on_research_not_hyperbole/

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