State Board endorses statewide evaluation system

On Wednesday, the Colorado State Board of Education approved rules and regulations for the implementation of Senate Bill 10-191. CEA is generally satisfied with the outcome of the State Board’s deliberations and final vote. We view the new rules as a first step in implementing SB 191 and in the creation of a comprehensive, high quality, and meaningful statewide system of teacher and principal evaluation.

The framework for the new evaluation system is the core of the work on SB 191 to date. While there are unresolved issues about SB 191, such as how to measure educator effectiveness in non-CSAP subjects, our Association believes that when the law is fully implemented in 2014, we will have a solid statewide system because school districts must meet or exceed the state level standards.

The “statewide” issue arose in September as the State Board reviewed draft rules written by Colorado Department of Education staff. The issue was whether there would be a single statewide evaluation system or if districts would be permitted to have their own systems that skirted the intent of the law. CEA’s position continued to be, throughout recent debate, that the evaluation system must be a single statewide system. Yesterday the State Board confirmed our position.

Our Association began working on teacher evaluation when Gov. Bill Ritter formed a task force before the Legislature even passed SB 191 during its 2010 session. Three CEA members worked tirelessly on the State Council for Educator Effectiveness (SCEE) for more than a year to make sure Colorado’s evaluation system is the best it can be. On behalf of our 40,000 members, we thank Amie Baca Oehlert (District Twelve EA), Kerrie Dallman (Jefferson County EA), and Jim Smyth (Mesa Valley EA) for their contributions to SCEE’s work. These three local association presidents have been working with administrators, parents, students, and the business community on evaluation and are expert resources for our organization.

CEA is committed to continuing the collaborative work begun by the State Council and supporting the work that will be done by teachers and principals in the SB 191 pilot districts. Lessons learned from the pilot will inform the next steps in SB 191 implementation.

CEA members want accountability in public education and in their schools – accountability for educators and for everyone that results in improving the quality of teaching, increasing student achievement, and making schools safer, better places to learn.


Two interactive, town-hall discussions for educators

Sign up for the Education Nation Town Hall – let your voice be heard Sunday

We hope you will join the live Teacher Town Hall web chat at 10:00 a.m., Sunday, September 25 (Colorado time), and tell the public about the teaching profession. The Teacher Town Hall is part of NBC’s week-long Education Nation program.

Register here for the online web chat with fellow teachers.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel will appear on a panel, and it’s likely that at least one Colorado teacher will also be featured. Join them and educators from every state to share your ideas on teaching challenges and opportunities.
Join CEA’s educator effectiveness tele-town hall, Wednesday

We’ll hold a town hall meeting over teleconference for Association members on Wednesday, September 28, from 4:00-5:00 p.m., where you can hear the latest developments on Senate Bill 191 and the State Board of Education’s proposed rules for the law. The meeting is timed for the week before the State Board’s October 5 meeting, the last opportunity for the public to weigh in on the law before the board finalizes its rules and sends them to the Legislature.

The State Council for Educator Effectiveness, after working for many months, recommended a statewide teacher-principal evaluation system to the State Board of Education in August. The council designed a single framework for teacher and principal evaluations in a fair, transparent, timely, rigorous, and valid system that every district will use. The town hall meeting will explain conflicts we have with the State Board’s rules  and how educators can act to see the realization of the State Council’s vision.  Plenty of time will be allotted for your questions.
When you register, you will get all the information you need for the town hall. Please provide your personal email, instead of school email, at this registration link.

Engage in educator effectiveness conversation, Friday night on RMPBS

We encourage CEA members to tune into a Rocky Mountain PBS program on Friday about educator effectiveness.

It’s “Colorado State of Mind” this Friday night, September 16, from 7:30-8:00 p.m. The regular 30-minute on-air program will be followed by a panel discussion that will feature Michelle Conroy, a teacher in Craig and Moffat County EA member, and Henry Roman, a Denver teacher and Denver CTA president. There will also be a live online chat from 7:30-9:00 p.m., moderated by Alan Gottlieb, publisher of EdNews Colorado, an online education news source.

CEA is a co-sponsor of this program. Rocky Mountain PBS is partnering with PEBC (Public Education & Business Coalition) and EdNews Colorado on this program with the goal of exploring the challenges of measuring educator effectiveness.

You can post questions and comments now and throughout the Friday night live program — and we hope you will.

SB 191 Recommendations: Survey closes March 28

The State Council for Educator Effectiveness is running a short online presentation and survey to gather educators’ ideas about its draft recommendations for a new statewide teacher and principal evaluation system: the first step in the implementation of Senate Bill 10-191.

We encourage all teachers, preschool through high school, to take the survey which is preceded by a seven-minute online presentation.

On February 9, the council presented its draft recommendations on teacher and principal effectiveness to the State Board of Education. The council goes before the state board in April with final recommendations.

CEA has three members on the council: Amie Baca-Oehlert, District Twelve EA; Kerrie Dallman, Jefferson County EA; and Jim Smyth, Mesa Valley EA. These Association members and the entire State Educator Effectiveness Council needs to hear from YOU.

Teacher and Principal Effectiveness Survey-Draft Recommendations

SB 191 on Way to Governor

The final days of the Colorado Legislature brought many changes to SB 191, the teacher evaluation and effectiveness bill. Dozens of amendments were offered on the floor of the House Tuesday evening as the bill was debated for over four hours.

On Wednesday the bill had its final vote in the House and then the House version was accepted by the Senate. The Legislature adjourned Wednesday night and the bill will next go the Governor who is expected to sign it.

So many changes were made to the bill in the last week that CEA is still working on a summary of what the bill actually does. Meanwhile here’s what CEA President Beverly Ingle had to say about the passage of the bill.

“This bill has been much improved since it was introduced last month. Over 200 amendments were offered as the bill worked its way through the process. We are pleased with a number of the amendments that were added to the bill.

“Initially, the bill took a very complex set of topics and dealt with them in a broad and overarching manner which raised many concerns. Our 40,000 members were appalled by this attack on their profession and by the negative effects it would have on both teaching and learning.

“Our members sprang into action and made thousands of contacts with their legislators. They told heart-felt stories about their students and their classrooms. Because of their work calling attention to the problems in the bill, many amendments were offered and accepted. We were able to get a number of checks and balances into the bill that will make it more palatable for our members.

“CEA was successful in extending the timelines for the development and implementation of a new but unfunded statewide system. We also appreciate that much of the detail work in the law has been assigned to the Governor’s Council for Educator Effectiveness. From the beginning we have said that the Council should be allowed to do its work and report to the Legislature.

“The work of the Council will be very important. CEA will offer its assistance to the Council and help it successfully complete its many charges. And we will also examine the bill and the various education processes it impacts. We will do everything we can to make this work for our teachers and our students.”

House Education Committee Debates SB 191 Today

The House Education Committee is scheduled to take up SB 191 this afternoon in the Old Supreme Court Chambers. CEA continues its opposition to the bill.

In a release sent to the media this morning, CEA President Beverly Ingle says, “We are working with legislators to make this bill more about teacher effectiveness and student achievement and less about punishing teachers and undermining the profession.”

“[CEA] wants a good quality evaluation system designed to help every teacher become a better teacher. We want a quality teacher in every classroom. We want to close the achievement gap and help all students succeed. Senate Bill 191 does not help,” she said.

Ingle continues, saying that CEA knows what works: time to teach and collaborate, parent involvement and support, meaningful mentoring of new teachers, high quality professional development, small classes, and adequate resources.

“These are the quality factors that make a difference. But these factors are not addressed in SB 191…because SB 191 is not about good teaching and learning.”

To listen in on today’s proceedings in the House Education Committee, click on “Old Supreme Court Chambers” in the lower-left on this page.

New Radio Ads: “Gifts, Grants and Donations” and “Responsible Reform”

Senate Bill 191 is up for a final vote in the Senate today, and then will be heard in the House Education Committee next week. CEA members continue to tell legislators why SB 191 is an unworkable bill. Here are CEA’s two new radio ads now airing in the Denver metro area: “Gifts, Grants and Donations” and “Responsible Reform.”

Remember to contact your legislators and tell them to say no to SB 191!