Education Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-1097

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE EDUCATION REFORM ACT OF 2012.

Vote Date:

3/28/2013

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/15/2013

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Education Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To make technical revisions and to provide clarity to provisions in the Education Reform Act of 2012

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE:

Section 1 (b), lines 28-58: The substitute language changes the implementation of the new teacher evaluation system to September 1, 2013 instead of July 1, 2014. This will allow a phase-in transition to the new teacher evaluation system. The substitute language also states that the local board first seeks to develop its evaluation system with mutual agreement with the local bargain until for teachers. If they cannot agree on a mutual agreement at a local level they can look at the state model system (SEED) and adopt it. If they do not agree on that, then final authority will be with the school board to decide the local evaluation system. This is where it stands today. The substitute language's intent is to address the concerns the experts had at the public hearing, which preferred a phase-in approach to implement the new teacher evaluation system, and thought the school board should have final authority in the decision.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Stefan Pryor, Education Commissioner testified on S.B. 1097. He testified that he would like to see the bill follow what PEAC had outlined. He believes PEAC is the best solution to meet their shared goals. He testified that he believes that changing the implementation by a year would mean that districts would just push back the work until 2014. He also testified that the Board of Education should have the final decision making role in the selection of the evaluation model. Another concern he testified on is with the reading assessment changes for teachers. In regards to the cost of the survey, there is currently no answer as to who will assume the annual administration costs.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Fran M. Rabinowitz, Superintendent of Schools, Hamden Public Schools; Diane Marinaro, HEA President and John Keegan, Board Chair submitted testimony for S.B. 1097. They stated that they support school districts having until July 1, 2014 to implement their plans. The time will allow the new plan to be effective. They would like to suggest that in Section 1 (b) that the Boards of Education remain part of the teacher evaluation process. They also have concerns with Section 1 (2). This section says that the State Board of Education needs to establish a model teacher evaluation and support program on or before October 1, 2013. If the model is not approved until then, it will be hard to have effective programs in July 2013. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Jeri Powell, State Director GNEPSA submitted testimony for S.B. 1097. He noted several points that he hopes the committee will consider. He stated he would like to see the September 1, 2013 deadline obeyed. He stated that he likes the model evaluation system. He would also like to improve the uniform system of accounting and a parental notification component to the evaluation system. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

CCM submitted testimony for S.B. 1097. They stated that they support the bill because they see the postponement of the teacher evaluation requirements and the mandate of reading assessments and intervention programs as positive.

Sheila Cohen, President CEA testified on S.B. 1097. She testified in support of Sections 14 & 16 of the bill. Section 14 requires the State Department of Education to develop a survey to be used by school districts to assess how the teachers are preforming in regards to reading practices. She stated that, “Section 16 of SB 1097 clarifies that the requirement for passage of the CFR exam is extended only to candidates for an initial certificate in comprehensive special education it avoids a problem that risked voiding current and valid teacher certificates.”

Stephen McKeever, First Vice President AFT Connecticut, AFL-CIO testified on S.B. 1097. He testified that he would like to thank the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus for their efforts in early literacy. He testified that he believes that surveying teachers instead of testing them will make sure that students are being taught by teachers who have updated training in literacy theory. He is concerned, however, that if there was a candidate looking for a special education endorsement, they would have to pass a literacy test. They would not be able to do the course work that the test is based off of in time. He testified that he would also like to see the implementation date be September 1, 2015.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Joseph J. Cirasuolo, Executive Director CAPSS; Randall Collins, Staff Associate Public Policy CAPSS; Alan Addley, Superintendent of the Granby Public Schools; testified on S.B. 1097. They testified that they have two concerns with the bill. The first concern had to do with Section 1 (b) of the bill. This section eliminates the Board of Education as the final authority to the system that is used to evaluate teachers. This system is used to evaluate teachers in very school system. They believe the Board of Education should have the final authority. They also testified that they have concerns with Section 1 (a) of the bill. This section of the bill would make it so every district would have to implement this new evaluation system in 2014-2015. This does not allow anytime for a phase-in before there was a full implementation. They testified they could not support the way the bill is presently written and to refer to PEAC. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Pamela W. Aubin, Superintendent of Schools, Montville Public Schools testified with concerns regarding Section 1 (b) of the bill. This section eliminates the Board of Education as the final authority to the system that is used to evaluate teachers. This system is used to evaluate teachers in very school system. She believes the Board of Education should have the final authority. She testified she could not support the way the bill is presently written and to refer to PEAC. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Bernard Josesfsberg, East Redding and Region 9 School Districts; Cheryl F. Kloczko, Torrington Public Schools; Dr. Francis A. Baran, Superintendent Woodstock Public Schools; Dr. Mary Beth Iacobelli, Superintendent of Schools, East Haddam School District; Dr. Maynard M. Suffredini, JR, Superintendent of Schools Somers Public Schools; Elizabeth E. Feser, Milford, CT; James D. Lombardo, East Lyme Public Schools Superintendent; Jeffrey Linton, Superintendent Barkhamsted School District; Joseph P. Macary, Superintendent of Wolcott Public Schools; Karen List, Ph.D., Superintendent West Hartford Public Schools; Kevin Smith, Superintendent of Bethel Public Schools; Kristin B. Heckt, Superintendent Bolton Public Schools; Mark D. Benigni, Superintendent of Meriden Public Schools; Robert Siminski, Superintendent of Regional School District No. 8; Sally Keating, Lisbon, CT; Stephen C. Cullinan, Superintendent Ellington Public Schools; Susan L. Viccaro, Superintendent of Schools, Regional School District 13; William Hull, Putnam Public Schools; Abby I. Dolliver, Superintendent of Norwich Public Schools; Anthony J. Bivona, Brookfield Public Schools; Deborah S. Wheeler, Ed.D, Superintendent of Litchfield Public Schools; Dr. Joseph V. Erardi, Jr., Southington Public Schools; Dr. Matt A. Bisceglia, Superintendent Cromwell Public Schools; Dr. Sally E. Doven, Superintendent of Schools, Portland Public Schools; Jeffrey A. Schumann Ph.D., Superintendent Enfield Public Schools; John J. Ramos, Sr. Ed.D, Interim Superintendent of Schools, Groton Public Schools; Kevin Smith Superintendent, Bethel Public Schools; Linda O. Loretz, Eastford School District; Paul Freeman, Superintendent Guilford Public Schools; Ruth Levy, Ed.D; Theresa M. Kane, Ed.D, Superintendent of Schools, East Windsor Public Schools submitted testimony in regards to S.B. 1097. They stated that they have two concerns with the bill. The first concern had to do with Section 1 (b) of the bill. This section eliminates the Board of Education as the final authority to the system that is used to evaluate teachers. This system is used to evaluate teachers in very school system. They believe the Board of Education should have the final authority. They also stated that they have concerns with Section 1 (a) of the bill. This section of the bill would make it so every district would have to implement this new evaluation system in 2014-2015. This does not allow anytime for a phase-in before there was a full implantation. They stated they could not support the way the bill is presently written and to refer to PEAC. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Jerome R. Belair, Superintendent of Waterford Public Schools testified on S.B. 1097. He testified that he is opposed to Section 1 (a) of the bill. He testified that his remarks represent 11 Waterford administrators, five teacher representatives and their union leaders. He feels the bill ignores SEED implementation. He also testified that he is concerned with Section 1 (b) of the bill. . This section eliminates the Board of Education as the final authority to the system that is used to evaluate teachers. This system is used to evaluate teachers in every school system. He believes the Board of Education should have the final authority. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Rae Ann Knopf, Executive Director of CCER testified on S.B. 1097. She testified that CCER is opposed to the bill because… “1) Delay full implementation of the new educator evaluation and support system, overriding a collaboratively created phase-in process; 2) Mandate the formation of the professional development and evaluation committees, a process which overrides local authority in their ability to develop a model that uniquely addresses local need; 3) Defer decisions about ineffective educators; and 4) Postpone the implementation of k-3 literacy initiatives.” The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Erika Haynes testified on S.B. 1097. She testified that she opposes the fact that S.B. 1097 eliminates the phase-in approach that PEAC and the State Board of Education approved, and it would start in the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. They should support the work they did, and they should not change the timeline. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Jennifer Alexander, Acting CEO for ConnCAN testified on S.B. 1097. She testified that the bill delays SEED, and it removes the Board of Education's authority. The Board of Education should have the final decision. She testified that it also overrides PEAC, and it would not allow the phase-in process. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Kenneth Dipietro, Superintendent of Plainfield Public Schools submitted testimony on S.B. 1097. He stated that he encourages the legislators not to support a bill that “diminishes the authority and responsibility to implement the reforms to move our educational system forward.”

Morgaen Donaldson, Assistant Professor at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut submitted testimony on S.B. 1097. She stated that she was the primary investigator of the study of SEED's pilot implementation. She stated she is opposed to the delay of the implementation of the new evaluation system. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Robert Rader, Lydia Tedone, and Richard Murry, CABE testified on S.B. 1097. They stated they oppose the bill for two reasons, Section 1 (b) and Section 1(a). They would like PEAC to address these issues. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Mark Waxenberg, Executive Director CEA testified on S.B. 1097. He testified that at the state level, there are the PEAC guidelines. He asked that the committee come up with a remedy that would mean that the local board would retain the authority to develop a local plan. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Dan Macrino, Principal of Waterford High School testified on S.B. 1097. He testified that he was concerned with Section 1 (a) of the bill that implements the new evaluation system in the 2014-2015 school year. He testified that this would go against the options that PEAC developed. Section 1 (b) removes the Board of Education as the authority, and gives this authority to professional development and evaluation committees to evaluate teachers. He testified he was against this, and the Board of Education should have this authority. The substitute language addresses the concerns.

Reported by: Amanda Zavagnin

Date: 04/08/2013