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ACTION State Council OKs Teacher Evaluation Framework Read it at SELDOM DO VOTES by CTA's State Council get a standing ovation. The nearly 800 delegates rose from their chairs and applauded the unanimous approval of the new CTA Teacher Evalu- ation Framework, knowing that the new policy gives California's educators a stronger voice in teacher appraisal. More than two years in the making, ance to local educators and their unions, as well as local school dis- tricts and the state Legislature, in how to approach teacher evaluation. The framework builds on the The framework provides guid- the framework is to be used when devel- oping and bargaining local evaluation programs. It centers on the underlying principle that the goal of any evalua- tion system is to strengthen the knowl- edge, skills and practices of teachers to improve student learning. "This is exactly the kind of framework we need," said Council delegate Betty Olson-Jones, Oakland Education Asso- ciation president. "It really lays it out in a way that we can use in bargaining." 17 teacher evaluation principles approved by State Council in June 2011. The CTA Teacher Evalua- tion Workgroup forged the plan after hearing from CTA members and numerous experts and looking at assessment systems used across the country. The framework formally intro- duces the practice of "formative" and "summative" evaluation pro- cedures. The formative process focuses on increasing knowledge and improving professional prac- tice; test scores may be included but are not used for employ- ment decisions. The sum- mative process summarizes a teacher's practice based on teaching and learning standards and can be used in employment decisions. The broad framework rejects using the controver- sial "value-added" measures based on student test scores in teacher evaluations. While the state's Stull Act CTA members wrote, discussed and voted on the new Teacher Evaluation Framework. Here Donald Stauffer, Washington TA in West Sacramento, votes during a workgroup meeting. evaluations, which is really what evalu- ations should be about. That means improving our practice in order to improve student achievement," Heins told delegates. To combat the cursory "drive-by" places the emphasis on sum- mative high-stakes decision- making, the CTA guidelines stress formative assessments that improve teachers' skills and student achievement, said CTA Vice President Eric Heins, who chairs the Teacher Evaluation Workgroup. "We are expanding the conversation to formative Barbara Wooley, Cupertino EA, is a member of the Teacher Evaluation Workgroup. 30 nature of many teacher evaluations, the framework calls for making the pro- cess truly a joint endeavor where "the teacher is an active participant, fully engaged and focused on learning and improving practice, while the evaluator is a knowledgeable partner providing comprehensive, consistent and timely feedback, information and guidance." The CTA framework empowers teachers, said Neil Wilson, a member of the East Side Teachers Association in San Jose. "It shows teaching is a partnership not only between us and students, but with the community and parents and administrators." By Mike Myslinski Photos by Dina Martin California Educator June/July 2012

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