CEA President in Today’s Denver Post; SB 191 Testimony Begins

Today, CEA President Beverly Ingle has a guest commentary in The Denver Post. Please take a minute to review it and share it with your friends and neighbors!

Also today, the Senate Education Committee begins two days of hearings on SB 191. A number of CEA members, staff and other experts will give testimony against the bill. We’re looking forward to this opportunity for legislators – and others – to hear directly from the people in the classroom who will be directly affected by this bill. If you wish to tune in to the proceedings, you can listen to live streaming coverage here and click on “Old Supreme Court Chambers” in the lower right corner.


Colorado Makes First Cut in Race to the Top

The Colorado Education Association is pleased that Colorado was selected to interview for Phase 1 of the Race to the Top competitive education grants. Colorado is one of 16 finalists who will travel to Washington D.C. the week of March 15 to present their proposals. Winners of the first round of grants will be announced in early April.

CEA President Beverly Ingle said, “So much work has gone into this process. All parts of Colorado’s education community have been engaged in working together to develop a program that will help advance student achievement. It is great that this effort has been recognized at the federal level.

“Colorado’s approach differed from some other states. This was a collaborative process designed to capitalize on the many advances we’ve made – CAP4K , Colorado Growth Model, new content standards, accountability measures – and move them to the next level. We believe that these programs will make a significant difference in how our schools operate and in improving student achievement. This work will guide the state going forward, because it’s what’s right for our students and what’s right for our public schools,” Ingle stated.

“We applaud Governor Ritter for recognizing how important a fair and effective system of evaluation is to improving teacher and administrator effectiveness. By creating the Governor’s Council on Educator Effectiveness to examine this critical issue and make recommendations, he acknowledges that good evaluation is foundational and must be addressed carefully. We look forward to the first meeting of the Council on March 11.

“We cannot move forward on other issues of teacher effectiveness if our evaluation system doesn’t work properly. ‘The Widget Effect,’ reporting on evaluation in this state and country, pointed out the failures and fallacies of our current evaluation system. In Colorado we believe that we must get this right. It is the basis for other programs and systems.

“We are building a system that will be good for our students, our school employees, and the state of Colorado. That is what’s important. If we have federal funding to help us, we can implement it sooner. If not, we will still continue our collaborative work to improve and enhance Colorado’s public education system,” Ingle concluded.

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CEA Joins Education Leaders to Submit Colorado’s Application for Race to the Top Grant

Pres. Ingle speaking at Race to the Top press conference

Pres. Ingle speaking at Race to the Top press conference

Today, Colorado’s application for a Race to the Top education reform grant arrived at the U.S. Department of Education. CEA President Beverly Ingle, Gov. Bill Ritter, Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien and Education Commissioner Dwight Jones announced Colorado is seeking $377 million in Race to the Top funds, which are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

President Ingle gave the following statement on Race to the Top and the Governor’s Executive Order on Educator Effectiveness:

On behalf of the 38,000 members of the Colorado Education Association, I am pleased to support Colorado’s Race to the Top proposal. CEA is committed to improving student achievement and closing the achievement gaps. Highly effective teachers and leaders are the key to this effort.

From the beginning, CEA has been involved in this collaborative effort to transform our schools. As we worked on this grant proposal, it became clear that sound evaluation of teachers and principals was fundamental to what we are trying to achieve. The Governor’s Council on Educator Effectiveness will give us the opportunity to work on this crucial issue and get it right. Our students and educators deserve no less.

CEA looks forward to the ongoing dialogue and collaboration that will result in a fair and transparent evaluation system with highly effective teachers and administrators working together for the benefit of the state’s children.

CEA also submitted a letter of support to Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, on Colorado’s Race to the Top application. The CEA Race to the Top letter is from President Ingle and Executive Director Tony Salazar.