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Feb 032013

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) has completed the Parent Survey (feedback) portion of the new PEAC evaluation process for teachers and principals.  The new evaluation process for teachers will be comprise of:

  • Teacher Classroom Performance and Practice 40%
  • Parent  or Peer Feedback 10%
  • Student Growth and Development 45%
  • Whole School Student Learning Feedback 5%

The new evaluation process* for administrators will be comprised of:

  • Student Learning 45%
  • Leadership Practice 40%
  • Stakeholder Feedback 10%

* I don’t know why it doesn’t add up to 100%

Below are two links that connect you to a bank of questions that the CSDE  has developed and that school districts can select from.




To understand more about the parent and community component of the new process. Click on the link below.



Jun 302012

This past week, Connecticut’s State Board of Education unanimously approved the adoption of teacher and administrator evaluation guidelines, now known as “Core Requirements”.  The Core Requirements, which were developed by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) after almost two years of work, call for an unprecedented amount of feedback and support to be provided to teachers and school administrators and factor student performance into evaluations.

Teacher and Administrator Evaluation Process and Components

The approved Core Requirements lay the foundation for a comprehensive and standardized system for teacher and administrator evaluations based, in part, on student performance.

The teacher and administrator evaluation process will center around three annual conferences between a teacher or administrator and their evaluator: an initial goal-setting conference where the teacher or administrator meets with the evaluator to establish student learning objectives and goals, followed by a mid-year check-in to review the teacher or administrator’s progress toward their objectives and an end-of-year conference to review the teacher or administraror’s observed practice and evidence of student academic achievement, including a self-assessment.

For the first time in state history, districts must provide teachers and school administrators with professional development and growth opportunities based on their strengths and areas for improvement in relation to student learning needs, as identified through the evaluation process, and develop individualized improvement plans for teachers and administrators who receive a rating of developing or below standard.

Teachers will be evaluated on the following indicators:  

  • Student academic growth (45%)
    • Standardized test (22.5%)
    • A maximum of one standardized test and a minimum of one measure that is not a standardized test (22.5%)
  • Observation of teacher practice by administrator (40%)
  • Parent or peer feedback (10%)
  • Whole-school student learning indicator or student feedback (5%)

Administrators will be evaluated on the following indicators:

  • Student academic growth (45%)
    • Standardized test, including the School Performance Index (22.5%)
    • Two local indicators of student growth (graduation rates for high schools must be included) (22.5%)
  • Observation of administrator performance and practice (40%)
  • Stakeholder feedback (10%)
  • Teacher effectiveness outcomes (5%)

The evaluator will complete the evaluation process by rating the teacher’s performance on a 4-tiered rubric: Exemplary, Proficient, Developing and Below Standard.

Each district is responsible for defining effectiveness and ineffectiveness in relation to the indicators and ratings listed above.  A demonstration of effective practice will serve as the basis for granting teachers tenure and ineffectiveness can serve as grounds for dismissal beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

Next Steps

The adoption of teacher and administrator evaluation guidelines marks an important step in the implementation of the landmark education reform bill (Senate Bill 458) passed in May.    Sixteen school districts have been approved to pilot the teacher and administrator evaluation Core Requirements in the upcoming school year.  Support will be provided by the State Department of Education and the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut will conduct an analysis of the program.  The goal of the pilot program is to work out any kinks in the Core Requirements before they are implemented statewide in the 2014-2015 school year.

CCER would like to recognize the members of PEAC and the State Board of Education for their hard work and commitment to ensuring that all students in Connecticut receive a high-quality education.  Stay tuned for updates and news as the State Board of Education, State Department of Education, and pilot districts begin to implement teacher and administrator evaluation systems based on the Core Requirements.



Tuesday, July 10th

Achievement Gap

Task Force Meeting

9:30 AM in

Room 2600 of the LOB

Wednesday, July 1th

State Board of Education Meeting

8:30 AM in

Room 1D of the LOB

Jun 012012

On May 9th, we reported that The CT Dept of Education was planning to begin implementation of a pilot evaluation process during the 2012-13 school year as a prelude to FULL state-wide implementation for 2013-14.   Supt. Marks  hoped to have Norwalk participate in this pilot and the  BoE voted unanimously to submit the district’s application at the May 15th BoE meeting.

Norwalk was selected to participate in The Department of Education’s education evaluation pilot for both administrator’s and teachers following the  Education Department’s receipt of thirty-six applications from across the State.  Ten districts and consortia of districts  were selected to participate in the pilot, representing the State’s diverse regions and school systems.

Norwalk’s selection was based upon the following factors:

· district size
· geographical representation
· district reference groups (DRG)
· district designation as urban suburban or rural, and
· small districts working collaboratively with other small districts in a consortium.

Selected districts will engage in all aspects of implementing the educator evaluation and support  system, including the collection and sharing of data.  Section 52 of Senate Bill 458 of the
Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) authorizes the Commissioner of Education to administer the pilot educator evaluation and support system for the school year commencing July 1, 2012.

Below is the  acceptance letter from Commissioner Stefan Pryor’s Office to the Superintendent, as well as, an email that REd APPLES sent in support of  Norwalk’s application.

Malloy Press Release

Pilot Selection Letter

REd APPLES Letter Supporting PEAC Pilot

Mar 162012

Of the many issues being debated in the grocery list of reforms in  Senate Bill 24, one that is near and dear to teacher’s hearts is the appraisal process.  We couldn’t agree more.   Involved parents repeatedly hear of the conflicts between principals and teachers and the “fairness” of the overall process.  To be sure it seems a bit convoluted, its a  57 page document.  We hear of abuses to the system , where ratings can be arbitrary and or inflated for what is referred to as  ‘principal’s pets.’   Therefore, at the last Board of Ed meeting, we asked that the BoE  look into opening up the process by providing a baseline to the public and NPS staff of the appraisal system.   By that, we mean that we would like to see BY SCHOOL the rating percentages (no names of course)  of teaching staff.  We want to know the percentages of DISTINGUISHED, PROFICIENT, BASIC and UNSATISFACTORY on a by school basis, so that we can all baseline consistency across schools, and examine for lack of a better term grade inflation.  Opening up this process (with no names) will provide everyone with an indication of where Norwalk stands on this controversial topic in anticipated legislative reforms coming down the pike. 

Note: We are also pressing for a rating system for Principals because the current  NPS appraisal process for principals and administration does not allow for one.


Below is the letter that was read at the Board of Ed Meeting on 3-6-12.

Members of the Board of Education:

I saw on the agendas today, that the Board met with CABE to discuss the superintendent evaluation process and how you will be likely be holding an Executive Session after this meeting, to apply what you have learned, to our own superintendent Dr. Marks.  I applaud your efforts.  But, I would like to add, as a parent, that we have many more employees in this school district that directly impact our children’s learning.   With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to make a formal request of the BoE.

Last month, a group of us from Norwalk, myself included, testified on behalf of Norwalk in support of Governor Malloy’s Education Reform Bill, known as Senate Bill 24.

For those not familiar with the bill, it deals with a host of reform issues including:

1)      Enhance family access to early childhood education

2)      State support and intervention in low performing schools

3)      Expand availability of high quality school models

4)      Remove red tape and other barriers to success

5)      Develop the very best teachers and principals

6)      Deliver more resources to districts that embrace reform

Norwalk’s delegation gave testimony in support of the bill, but paid particular attention to items 5 and 6 of the Governor’s bill as it relates to – developing the very best teachers and principals and delivering more resources to districts that embrace reform; in particular the travesty and inequity of funding that our city experiences, when compared to cities and town across the state.

Another more controversial issue that appeared to be resolved in January had to do with the Commissioner of Education and CEA Leadership (the state’s largest teacher’s union) was an agreement on a new standardized evaluation process for teachers which would take into account a number of factors including: standardized tests, classroom performance, peer, student and parent feedback.  Since January, CEA has experienced buyer’s remorse and are seeking changes to the plan.  CEA Executive Director, Mary Loftus Levine, speaking at the time of the agreement, wanted a fair, valuable and reliable mechanism for evaluating teachers.  I couldn’t agree more.  But may I also add the word, consistent.

With changes coming down from the state with regard to the evaluation process of staff, it would probably be a good idea for Norwalk to get ahead of the curve and understand where it stands with respect to its own staff’s appraisals. Therefore, I would like to formally request a public status report of the appraisal process for the principals and teachers of all 19 schools.  Included in that report, I would like to see the status of principals (not by name mind you) and the rating percentages of NPS teachers which includes: unsatisfactory, basic, proficient and distinguished, BY SCHOOL.   I personally have concerns with a process that has 57 pages (37 for administration) and upon examining the documents myself, look about as complicated as the US tax code.  I’m sure that the Board, Mr. Mellion and Mr. Ditrio would ALL agree that Norwalk needs to ENSURE a consistent application of the evaluation process across ALL 19 schools, so that parents are assured a great education for all students and teachers are ensured the fair process they deserve.  The best place to start is to baseline where we already are today.

Thank you

Lisa Thomson

Read By Lauren Rosato


Jan 312012

Last week, the largest teachers union in Connecticut, the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) recommended a new three- tiered evaluation system with no single test score or indicator being used to assess student learning.  The group has been a strong advocate for teachers participating in the state Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) that has been meeting for over a year.

Following are the weighted percentages for teacher evaluation guidelines:

  1. Multiple indicators of student learning will count as 45% of the evaluation. Half of that 45% weight will come from a standardized test, which would be either, the CMT, CAPT, or another valid, reliable test that measures student learning.
  2. Teacher performance and professional practice will be weighted at 40%.
  3. Other peer, student, and parent feedback will be weighted at 5% with professional activities counting for 10%.

Mary Loftus Levine, CEA executive director said, “It was a compromise by consensus, which was reached after many months of long, tough conversations.  “What the positive consensus shows is that all education stakeholders want the same results. And we and other members of PEAC are pleased to have developed a structure for a fair, reliable, and valid evaluation system with accountability for all. Student achievement is the overarching goal.”

CEA’s consensus is consistent with the goals set out by Governor Malloy and new Commission of Education Stefan Pryor, whereby the teaching profession is elevated, by holding everyone accountable, while producing a system that is fair, valid, reliable, and useful.

Teacher concerns still remain about how to define, implement, and include the “multiple indicators of student academic growth and development.”

The framework for the new CEA evaluation guidelines will be the basis for local school districts to go back and design local plans working with their local teachers unions.  District’s that determine they don’t have the capacity to design their own local plans can have the State Department of Education (SDE) provide a model or detailed template. Those districts that already have exceptional models, will be available to receive a waiver from the SDE.

PEAC is also working on administrator guidelines. CEA will share details as they are determined.


Copies of  the current evaluation process for Norwalk Public Schools administrators (NASA) and teachers (NFT) can be found on the Documents and Reports page of this website.


Dec 142011

There has been and continues to be  a lot of public discussion and debate regarding what is a fair evaluation process for principals, administrators and teachers when it comes to student performance.  REd APPLES recently obtained copies of the EVALUATION  PROCESS and the documents associated with it,  for employees of the Norwalk Public School System.   It was pretty shocking how long and cumbersome the documents are.  Perhaps it may be one of the contributing factors as to why it has become an inconsistent process here in the district.

Contrast the Norwalk Public School evaluation process with TEVAL, a new teacher evaluation and development system for New Haven teachers implemented in 2010-2011.  Then draw your own conclusions on which system is better for students or for adults.