Education has improved every year, and our state would like it to continue down that path. It’s one of those things that can never stop improving. That’s why this year we are taking another big step.
The education reform bill Gov. Dannel Malloy is proposing is an attempt to improve teacher evaluation, which will be used to potentially transform 25 schools, in urban school districts, in the next couple years. This plan calls for around $12 million dollars to better state-wide education. It also asks for all education graduates to have a grade-point average of B+, and to recruit the best teachers to work in struggling schools.
The new teacher evaluation will be changed from its previous place. The teachers will now be graded on 45 percent on the students’ performance and grades, 40 percent on observation in the classroom, 10 percent on what the parents and peers have to say and 5 percent on the entire school's performance. There would be a four-level grading system: exemplary, proficient, developing, and below standard. That new grading guideline should be in place by July 2013. Connecticut is the 14th state to adopt evaluation systems for teachers and principles based on student achievement.
These are all big steps in an attempt to higher education expectations and to help out lower scoring schools in Connecticut.
In my opinion, some of these percentages are egregious. Nearly half of the evaluation grade is based on how well students score. Being a middle school student, I know that some kids could care less about schoolwork or grades. It’s a sad thing to hear, and I’m not sure why it’s like that, but it is completely true.
Often it is not the teacher’s fault when his or her students do not score well. I know you’re thinking that it does matter how well the teachers teach their students, however, the teachers cannot control how much effort and attention students bring to class.
Yes, our schools are definitely taking a step forward and raising the bar in education. I believe, however, that this “education reform” is too harsh on the teachers. Rather than judging the teachers 45 percent on student performance, maybe the other percentages like peer and parent survey and whole school performance should rise. Possibly a bonus system to reward the students for their efforts and accomplishments would increase motivation as a student to reach their goals.
I agree with some of the guidelines, although, my feeling is that both teachers and students need to have the mutual desire to attain success in better education. It should not be fully the teacher’s responsibility for students to score well in school. The students need to know what he or she wants and if they work hard they will receive it.