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.”
“We believe in high standards, and ESSA gives this council a tremendous opportunity to refocus what we are here to do—improve teaching and learning,” said Waxenberg. “Our work needs to give parents the confidence that their students are getting the best education possible.”
Joe Cirasuolo, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, said he agreed with CEA, “100 percent.” He said that ESSA gives PEAC an important opportunity to do things “the right way.”
CEA is one of many public education stakeholders who sit on the council that advises the State Board of Education on teacher evaluation. CEA will present new teacher evaluation guidelines for PEAC to review at its January meeting. The plan will focus on a teacher evaluation system that is fair, reliable, and meaningful, permanently ending the unfair and invalid practice of linking teacher evaluations to statewide, high-stakes standardized test scores—a purpose for which they were never intended.
“We have been working with teachers and administrators around the state to fashion new educator evaluations guidelines,” said Cohen. “Teachers want to grow and improve as professionals to better support student learning, and we want to make sure new guidelines truly focus on developing and supporting teachers.”
Waxenberg told council members that “CEA will also pursue required legislative changes to improve teacher evaluation guidelines and will urge legislators to act and do what’s in the best interest of students and teachers.”