Teacher, administrator evaluation plan OK’d

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Tuttle-BuildingNAUGATUCK — The Board of Education on Thursday approved new proposals for evaluating teachers and administrators, based in part on the performance of their students and reviews from co-workers and parents.

“The assessment piece is based on a growth model,” Assistant Superintendent of Schools Brigitte Crispino said. “I truly believe that all children can grow.”

Per state guidelines, 40 percent of each teacher’s evaluation will be based on observations of their performance and 10 percent will be based on parent feedback. Student growth and development makes up 45 percent of the evaluation, based on standardized test scores, or other assessments when standardized test scores are not applicable. Student feedback makes up 5 percent of the evaluation.

Board members debated the role student performance should play in a teacher’s evaluation. Longtime member James Scully said some students do not learn even when teachers try their best.

“I just don’t want teachers to get in trouble for something they have no control over at all,” Scully said.

Crispino and Mayor Robert Mezzo, who also serves on the school board, said they believed it was possible for every student to show some improvement.

“I think it’s too easy to say, ‘This kid can’t learn,’ and at the end of the day the law doesn’t allow us to do that,” Mezzo said.

Teachers who do not do well on their evaluations will receive additional training instead of being immediately penalized, Crispino and Chairman David Heller said.

“I think we’re all on the same team,” Heller said.

Teachers and administrators helped the school system’s leaders craft the new evaluation documents, said George Macary, president of the teachers union.

“The document is there to show teachers where they are,” Macary said. “The number one reason we’re all here is for the kids.”

Administrator evaluations will be based 40 percent on ratings from their superiors, 10 percent on climate surveys distributed at parent-teacher conferences, 22.5 percent on state-administered assessments, 22.5 percent on other locally determined measures of student learning and 5 percent on the effectiveness of the teachers under them.

The board will submit its plans to the state Department of Education by Monday, said Superintendent of Schools John Tindall-Gibson. The state will give administrators feedback, and Tindall-Gibson said final revisions are due by May 17. The evaluations will be fully implemented next school year, Tindall-Gibson said.