Colorado district approves teacher evaluation-pay raise plan
Leaders from the teacher’s union asked the Colorado Department of Education to review an evaluation system, also called CITE, that ties teacher pay raises to evaluations conducted by school principals. The teacher evaluation plan designed by the Douglas County School District in Colorado was found to comply with state law, according to the state’s Department of Education.
The review did, however, find that the district may not have effectively communicated to teachers information about other district-initiated reviews that occur when an initial review seems to be an outlier. The state suggested including that information in the evaluation guide and on the website to ensure the teachers are well informed.
Union leaders have been critical of the evaluations, claiming that the district did not provide adequate training, and that teachers weren’t given the opportunity to assist in design.
Courtney Smith, president of the Douglas teacher’s union says, “I am shocked. We provided expert opinion that showed the system was neither valid or reliable, and to allow Douglas County to implement the system anyway, it’s harming teachers, classrooms. It’s harming the quality of schools.”
The Union is going to determine what step to take next.
Under the educator effectiveness law, SB 191, school districts were granted the option of creating their own teacher evaluation system as long as it adheres to state guidelines. This was the first state review of a teacher evaluation system developed by a school district.
If Colorado plans to continue to allow school districts to have some say in the evaluation system, I feel that it’s essential to find a measuring system to ensure that these individualized ways of evaluating teachers doesn’t harm the school quality and penalize teachers.