(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker today announced details of a new state initiative that aims to strengthen Connecticut’s efforts to recruit and retain a strong and diverse educator workforce through the reimagining of teacher evaluations and the modernizing of teacher certifications. The initiative focuses on ensuring that teachers are evaluated on a fair and consistent basis, and that they receive the support they need to improve their skills and knowledge.
The Connecticut State Department of Education’s Educator Evaluation and Support (EES) Council, codified in Conn. Gen. Stat. 10-151b as the Performance Evaluation and Advisory Council, has worked collaboratively over the past 20 months to develop an educator evaluation system based on research, best practices, continuous improvement, and focused on educator practice and student growth.
Under this initiative, the EES Council will be proposing to the Connecticut State Board of Education a new educator evaluation and support system based on state or national performance standards, aligned with the goals of districts, and include feedback and support for educators informed by multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement. Districts will have the 2023-2024 school year to plan for implementation of the new Connecticut Guidelines for Educator Evaluation beginning in the 2024-2025 school year.
Currently, training is being developed for educators (teachers and administrators) who will be evaluated under the new guidelines, as well as for school and district leaders who will be evaluating teachers and administrators. Guidance is also being developed for district Professional Development and Evaluation Committees to ensure successful implementation of the new guidelines.
The EES stakeholder organizations include:
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education of Connecticut (AACTE-CT)
American Federation of Teachers of Connecticut (AFT-CT)
Connecticut State Department of Education
Connecticut State Board of Education
Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE)
Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS)
Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS)
Connecticut Education Association (CEA)
Connecticut Association of School Administrators (CASA)
Connecticut Federation of School Administrators (CFSA)
Minority Teacher Recruitment (MTR) Policy Oversight Council
Regional Educational Service Center (RESC) Alliance
The Connecticut State Department of Education has also prioritized modernizing teacher certification to make it easier to become an educator while maintaining a high-quality educator workforce. The department, along with input from stakeholders, has identified short-term regulatory proposals to improve certification while Connecticut moves toward long-term solutions.
The Connecticut State Department of Education will convene a group of stakeholders to review and identify a framework to evaluate the effectiveness of the certification regulations. Like the EES Council, this group will be pivotal to the modernization of certification regulations.
Governor Lamont said, “We owe it to our students to provide them with the best possible education, and that starts with ensuring that our teachers are well-trained and supported. These proposed reforms are an important step forward in our efforts to improve the quality of education in Connecticut.”
Commissioner Russell-Tucker said, “The Connecticut State Department of Education has made it one of our top priorities to have a high-quality and diverse educator workforce. We believe that the current collaborative efforts with our education partners will help us reach our goal. We are so grateful to our partner organizations that we are moving forward together in modernizing teacher certification and reimagining performance evaluation and supports in Connecticut.”
State Senator Doug McCrory (D-Hartford), co-chair of the legislature’s Education Committee, said, “Every day, teachers serve as role models to our students and help them reach their academic and personal goals. I welcome this new initiative to help ensure that Connecticut’s teachers are well-trained and prepared for a 21st century classroom. Step-by-step, these actions are strengthening Connecticut’s efforts to recruit, train, and mentor a diverse educator workforce.”
CEA President Kate Dias said, “We are very excited to see the collaborative work of all stakeholders reflected in this revision to teacher evaluation. This new process is more reflective, it focuses on creating support networks to strengthen our teacher workforce, and it seeks to make educators valued partners in building successful learning communities. We are happy to move away from a performative process and toward a meaningful one that values the work of educators.”
AFT-CT Vice President for PreK-12 Teachers Mary Yordon said, “Connecticut and the nation face an escalating learning crisis fueled by teachers and support staff leaving our profession. That makes the Lamont administration’s embrace of this new evaluation model an important step toward empowering educators to address it. It represents a revolutionary change in evaluation that will promote growth in an environment of trust and respect. Our members have long called for this kind of a differentiated approach to achieving professional improvement. This new model further amplifies what the research says works; inspire educators to think deeply and discuss individual practice with their evaluators in meaningful, complex and practical terms.”
CAPSS Executive Director Fran Rabinowitz said, “Educator supervision and evaluation is the foundation for success in every school district. It was well worth the 18 months of work to collaboratively develop a process that will not only support and develop our educators but also has an accountability system that makes sense. It was some of the best and most rewarding work that I have been involved in as CAPSS executive director. I am grateful for the opportunity.”
CABE Executive Director Patrice McCarthy said, “These proposals will allow Connecticut to continue to move forward in promoting student success. Supporting educator growth is critical to meet student needs and attracting and retaining a diverse educator workforce benefits all our students as they prepare to enter a global economy.”
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