Better Educator Evaluation System is Costly, Complex Process

“Why…don’t we have fair and balanced evaluation of teachers with simplified due process rules for the removal of those who are persistently ineffective?”

A great question. It was posed by Richard Rothstein, a Research Associate with the Economic Policy Institute, in his recent column titled “Unions not an important impediment to removing ineffective teachers.”

His answer: “Only because school district administrations do not propose such systems.” And why don’t they propose such systems?

“…Mostly because they are very, very expensive.” He goes on, saying “The reason we have such terrible “drive-by” teacher evaluation systems, with principals taking perfunctory peeks into classrooms, is that principals have no time (or training) to do it right.”

Teachers in Colorado are committed to excellence. We want to help our colleagues improve or help them out of the profession – and we want a quality teacher in every classroom. CEA has been working with the Governor and legislature for years on numerous education reform measures and we will continue to do so with the Governor’s Council for Educator Effectiveness as they work to develop a new educator evaluation system.

The legislature is currently considering SB 191, whose sponsors are promoting the bill as providing the answer to all our problems in public education. In truth, the bill does nothing more than add to the Council’s responsibilities, shorten its timeline, and bypass the Governor and the legislature. More importantly, it offers no provisions to pay for the new evaluation system that it sets forth and imposes unfunded mandates on our local schools

Rothstein ends his column by posing a question. “Are we prepared to provide the funds for all those additional teacher supervisors and mentor teachers an effective system would require?”

SB 191 and its supporters would do well to think about this question before passing along the costs of implementing a new evaluation system right now on financially-strapped schools.

Please join us in telling your Senator and Representative to vote no on SB 191.


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