State school board members have signed off on the last piece of Colorado’s controversial law that requires teachers to undergo yearly evaluations. Colorado Public Radio’s Education Reporter Jenny Brundin explains that it sets out how teachers can appeal bad reviews.
Here's a transcript of Jenny Brundin's report:
Reporter Jenny Brundin: What happens after a teacher gets two bad evaluations in a row? The law states the teacher loses tenure. That's a set of job protections that comes with seniority. But the law also says teachers can appeal those bad ratings. Teacher Stephanie Rossi says that’s a good idea.
Stephanie Rossi: If there’s a question about how you’ve been evaluated, I think we shouldn’t be afraid of that process. If there’s a mistake that’s been made and we need to rectify it, let’s go through it.
Reporter: The appeals process was supposed to be hotly contested, but state board members signed off on it Wednesday after some careful word-smithing. In short, teachers would have to prove there was a problem with the data used to evaluate them, or prove the evaluation procedures were inaccurate. The superintendent would make the final decision. Districts would have the option of creating a review panel of teachers and administrators to offer input. To be clear, if a teacher loses the appeal, he or she is losing tenure, not his or her job. Senator Mike Johnston, the law’s architect, spoke to the board.
Mike Johnston: There is nothing in this bill that ever makes the decision to dismiss a single teacher or a single principal. That is entirely the province of local boards.
Reporter: Teachers could win back tenure after three good evaluations in a row. The rules now go to the legislature for approval.
[Photo: CPR News]