Teacher evaluations causing debate

By: Lizz Marrs Email
By: Lizz Marrs Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)- A fight at the state capitol is heating up over teacher evaluations, and lawmakers want more strict rules so schools can qualify for federal funds.

A proposal to asses a teacher's performance based on how their students do is coming under fire by teacher unions.

Wednesday the bill was slowed down, and could be pushed back nearly two years. It would require even established teachers to be placed on a probationary period if they're considered ineffective.

New teachers would have to prove their worth through evaluations, and those evaluations have a lot to do with student performance.

However, since 2006, all teachers in District 51 have been evaluated. Since the state didn't set specific guidelines on teacher evaluation,
officials here took it upon themselves.

They teamed up with the local teachers union to provide guidance and support.

Under the District 51 evaluation program, even a tenured teacher could lose their job. District Spokesman Jeff Kirtland says, "This gives us strength in evaluating teachers and identifying those that aren't performing. And if a teacher is not performing, then it's in the best interest educationally to take action."

District officials say they've seen growth in student's learning since they started evaluating teachers, but also say it's too soon to speculate on how the bill would effect them if passed.

Those who oppose the bill says it puts too much focus on test scores to evaluate teachers and not enough emphasis on teacher-student interaction.


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