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Malpractice or Just Bad Policy?

Malpractice or Just Bad Policy? The Connecticut Legislature’s Abandon of Sound Educational Practice

Policy Perspective
May 2016

This week the General Assembly is poised to enact a bill that would disconnect all objective assessments from teacher evaluations, and by extension would remove the transparency that otherwise allows schools, leaders and the public to understand whether and how students are learning.  In the state with the largest achievement gap between more affluent and poor students, and in a nation that has more than 60 percent of all students failing to meet proficiency—including the affluent—it’s hard to believe that any state would entertain such a law. We can all agree that teachers believe their jobs are to reach and teach their students, and removing any accountability to this is malpractice.

Connecticut fourth graders’ performance declined in the national math assessment in 2015 and just 41 percent of its students—fewer than half! —are proficient in math while eighth graders remained at a measly 36 percent proficient. These results are only marginally better than 2 decades ago, when the teachers union challenged evaluating teachers. And yet, this wrongheaded thinking is seeing the light of day again in Connecticut, this time as a bill simply titled:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXCLUSION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE RESULTS ON THE MASTERY EXAMINATION FROM TEACHER EVALUATIONS.

Further analysis here.

 

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