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State Panel Suggests Student Test Results be Part of Teacher Evals

The Performance Evaluation Advisory Council has told the state Board of Education that student and parental input should also play a role in evaluating teachers.

The state Board of Education next week will consider recommendations from the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, a panel charged with reviewing the way teacher evaluations are performed, which will include proposals that teachers be evaluated, to a large degree, by how well their students perform on standardized tests.

The council also has suggested to the state board that annonymous input from parents and students be considered when teachers are evaluated, according to a report in the Connecticut Mirror.

The board will consider the council's recommendations when it meets next week.

The change in the way the state's 50,000 public school teachers are evaluated is the result of a sweeping education reform law that was pushed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in the last legislative session and approved by the General Assembly.

Malloy's reform proposals were widely criticized by teachers and their unions, but a compromise package was eventually approved. That deal sets in place, for the first time, a system by which teacher tenure and decisions on firing teachers will be tied to their evaluations, reviews that in turn will be tied to student performance.

The state Board of Education is now hammering out the details of how the new process will be implemented.

Looking Up: A View From The Valley June 23, 2012 at 07:42 PM
On the surface, this make sense, but the key words here are "to a large degree" and how much "large" ultimately turns out to be. Just like managers' performances are partially and correctly based on the effectiveness of their direct reports, a teacher's effectiveness should be based - in part - on how well his/her "direct reports" perform. That being said, all sorts of variable involved need to be considered when doing so. Differences in grading methods (absolute scale vs. a curve), subject (hard science vs. the arts), class size/demographics, district resources, public vs. private vs. charter vs. magnet vs. parochial, etc. all play a role in impacting teachers' influence on their students. Plus, what tools will be used for evaluation? Solely CMT/CAPT scores? What about for "soft" skills? We're talking about kids here, not adults, and the parents' impact - or sadly lack thereof - on the students is a huge variable that cannot be ignored. Teachers are expected to impart their expertise and wisdom on the subject at hand, as well as provide ancillary skills along the way. But too often, they are expected to literally "raise" the kids as well, and are then misjudged accordingly because of behavioral or motivational issues that are not being adequately addressed at home. Nevertheless, this reform is definitely a step in the right direction towards better accountability of teachers in general. It just needs to have the right balance so as not to trip and fall. :)

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