CCER: Modifications to Evaluation System Should Not Diminish Teacher Accountability
New Haven, Connecticut – On Thursday, April 24th, the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) proposed changes to Connecticut’s teacher evaluation and support system. These modifications have yet to be reviewed by the State Board of Education.
Today, Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) made this statement:
“I was the superintendent of a district that piloted the new teacher evaluation and support system last year, and I believe it to be a strong and important step towards establishing teacher accountability across the state. By directly tying teachers’ effectiveness to their students’ growth in learning, we are reshaping the way we think about a teacher’s responsibilities. The model works well for evaluating teachers who teach subjects with available standardized assessments.
“CCER opposes efforts to relax accountability or to provide loopholes that will eliminate the requirement of standardized indicators as a component of evaluations.
“However, it is important to acknowledge that the evaluation system still has shortcomings that must be addressed. Rather than softening the accountability component of the evaluations, PEAC should be working with the SDE to develop a system of standardized and non-standardized student learning indicators, particularly for teachers who teach untested grades and subjects. The State should use this opportunity to address practical challenges like these that need to be fixed.
“PEAC has suggested that it might make sense to use benchmarked assessments across the school year as a component of a teacher’s evaluation. We agree that the inclusion of benchmark assessments will potentially provide more accurate evaluation information; in fact, the Smarter Balanced Assessment is anticipated to provide formative assessments that could be leveraged in just this way.
“Nonetheless, some of PEAC’s other language seems to teeter on the line between making practical adjustments and diminishing teacher accountability altogether.
“We continue to believe that state standardized tests, which are scientific, statistically valid measures, are critical to assessing student growth and teacher impact. We strongly oppose any efforts to remove state standardized tests as a component of teacher evaluations.
“Speaking as a voice for Connecticut’s business community, we believe any reduction in accountability represents a huge risk to our ability to produce highly skilled college- and career-ready students. Teachers are the largest school-based factor in a students’ education. That’s why Connecticut must be steadfast in holding its teachers accountable for helping our students learn.”
About the Connecticut Council for Education Reform
The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) is a statewide, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between children from low-income families and children of color and their peers. We do our work primarily by advocating for state policies and state and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations. We support reforms that advance best practices and innovations in education to ensure that every child has an exceptional education. Through public awareness, education, and engagement, we seek to broaden support for these efforts and affect long term sweeping change in the public education system. Our Board of Directors is comprised of prominent business and civic leaders who are deeply committed to our mission.
For more information on CCER, go to www.ctedreform.org.