Board adopts revised teacher, administrator evaluation plan

The Board of Education voted to adopt the state of Connecticut’s revised teacher and administrator evaluation and support plans during its special meeting on Thursday, Aug. 28.

The new evaluation and support plans, which go into effect this school year, are designed to “enhance the effectiveness of each and every educator in the Wilton Public Schools through improved evaluation, support and professional learning,” according to a handout presented by Assistant Superintendent Charles Smith.

Under state statute, Connecticut boards of education must approve and implement the new teacher evaluation and support program.

The revised teacher and administrator evaluation and support plans meet the Connecticut State Department of Education’s newly approved flexibility options.

When the board first reviewed the evaluation revisions on March 27, Dr. Smith explained that Gov. Dannel Malloy “felt the state requirements for teacher evaluation were too onerous for districts to implement.”

The governor asked the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) to give districts flexibility in terms of heeding those requirements, and the council agreed with his recommendations.

The governor’s recommendations were then adopted by the State Board of Education, according to Dr. Smith.

The new flexibility options cover three teacher evaluation issues:

  • Overreliance on testing.
  • Number of required formal observations for teachers rated proficient or exemplary.
  • Development of student learning outcomes (SLOs) and indicators of academic growth and development (IAGDs).

Wilton’s teacher evaluation committee, also known as the Professional Evaluation and Learning Committee (PEAL), had already approved the revision plans prior to the education board’s Aug. 28 meeting.

“What we’re trying to do here is make it as meaningful and manageable as possible,” Dr. Smith told the board.

“The teacher evaluation committee believes these revisions will enable us to accurately and reliably target what our teachers need professionally, and it provides them with the supports that they need to do that.”

Modifications

In addition to changing the rubric used to evaluate teachers, modifications to Wilton’s teacher evaluation plan include:

  • Elimination of the use of CMT, CAPT or SBAC for evaluation purposes.
  • Requiring teachers to set one SLO goal per year and multiple IAGDs.
  • Reconfiguration of the number of observations for tenured and non-tenured teachers.
  • More personalized professional learning.
  • Modification of the district’s data management system, including an annual system examination, Protraxx to TalentEd, and data privacy.

Ultimately, the purpose of the new evaluation system, according to Dr. Smith’s handout, is to:

  • Fairly and accurately evaluate teacher and administrator performance.
  • Help each educator strengthen his or her practice to improve student learning.

The components of the teacher and administrator evaluation and support plan “aim to ensure that formative and summative ratings are fair, valid, reliable and useful, and are an accurate reflection of an educator’s work,” according to the handout.