Teacher Development and Evaluation

With few exceptions, the best teachers, the ones who make a difference in children’s lives year after year, are made, not born. That is why an ongoing teacher evaluation and due process, are crucial to lasting reform. With few exceptions, teacher evaluation systems are broken—consisting of brief, isolated classroom visits providing often meaningless snapshots.

AFT has developed a rigorous, objective and in-depth framework that evaluates and develops teachers, rather than just performs a sorting exercise.

AFT Connecticut, with this framework in mind, has developed a teacher evaluation plan, based largely on the successful New Haven model. It aligns meaningful professional development; mentoring and other interventions to help new and struggling teachers improve, help good teachers become great, and accurately identify teachers who do not belong in the profession. The focus is on improving the vast majority of teachers, not just removing a small minority, in order to ensure that all kids are taught by the excellent teachers they deserve.

In order to best accomplish this, the teacher evaluation process should be aligned with due process. In cases where teachers are deemed to be unsatisfactory, it initiates an improvement and support process that can last no longer than one school year. At the conclusion of the support and assistance period, trained experts judge whether the teacher is now performing up to the standards. The school district then decides whether to retain or remove a teacher, a decision that can be reviewed by a neutral third party. The entire removal process can take no longer than 100 days, and in many cases would be much faster.

Our focus on developing great teachers once they are in the classroom is not intended to ignore or minimize the issue of teacher preparation. Pipeline issues must be addressed to ensure that our schools of education properly prepare and train future teachers, and that new teachers receive mentoring and other support to reduce high turnover rates.

AFT CT (American Federation of Teachers Connecticut) is committed to improving the quality of education for every child in the state. Education reform issues like teacher tenure, teacher certification, teacher evaluations, early childhood education, charter schools, school funding and more need input from all educators. PreK-12 teachers, paraprofessionals and school related personnel are working every day to improve learning and help students to grow. From urban schools in Connecticut, such as Hartford, New Britain, New Haven and Meriden, to suburban schools, such as, Bloomfield, Simsbury and Waterford,  to regional school districts, our members are working to provide quality education.