DENVER—Plans to publicly challenge Colorado’s educator evaluation law show the priorities of the state’s largest teachers union stand directly opposed to what students need, Independence Institute education analysts say.
Colorado Education Association leaders have scheduled an announcement today of “legal and legislative action” against the 2010 Educator Effectiveness Act. The challenge of the bipartisan reform initiative is focused primarily on the law’s prohibition of placing poor-performing teachers without the “mutual consent” of school leaders, a critical provision to the system’s design.
“Trying to pull the plug on accountability to save a few bad apples puts union leaders out of touch,” said senior education policy analyst Ben DeGrow. “Coloradans want more great teachers in classrooms. No child should be subjected to a teacher who can’t teach.”
Under the law, at least 50 percent of teacher and principal evaluations must be based on measures of student learning growth, and tie tenure to effectiveness. Large amounts of resources have been spent over nearly four years crafting and refining program details. Not only was the initial SB 191 legislation amended to overcome strong initial resistance from CEA, but a number of union leaders also have played prominent roles in the implementation.
“For years CEA has been busy trying to put its fingerprints all over the new system,” DeGrow said. “Now at the eleventh hour, they want to remove a crucial linchpin designed to ensure students aren’t stuck with ineffective instructors.”
The Independence Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Denver.