I’m sure you’ve all heard of the quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
It’s worth repeating for Connecticut’s Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC).
A few months after Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher called the state’s current teacher evaluation system “little more than cotton candy in a rainstorm” in his 90-page ruling in the CCJEF v. Rell school funding case — what does PEAC do?
If your answer was: something different. You’d be wrong.
According to the Connecticut Education Association’s blog, last week, the panel unanimously vote to push back coupling state exam data to evaluations. If their recommendation is adopted, this would be the third year that the use of state testing was pushed back, which is incredible considering the latest revelations from the CCJEF trial.
Among one of his many criticisms of Connecticut’s school system, Judge Mouksawer called the state’s teacher evaluation system “virtually useless.” In his view, it insufficiently links student achievement to evaluations, giving 98 percent of Connecticut’s teachers’ high marks.
What makes this worse is Judge Moukawsher point-blank called PEAC out in his ruling, writing:
“PEAC seems to have buckled under the load of criticism about the tests… Everything about it suggests it was designed to give only the appearance of imposing a significant statewide evaluation standard. These empty evaluation guidelines mean good teachers can’t be recognized and bad teachers reformed or removed.”
And yet, these scathing words seem to have no impact on the panel.
At PEAC’s last meeting, two months ago, according to the Connecticut Mirror, the presidents of the state’s largest teachers union and the state’s school board association openly shouted at each other over this issue. While the CEA is characterizing this as consensus, it’s really another case of PEAC buckling to the will of the teachers union.
Let’s not forget what else was revealed during the CCJEF trial.
As the Connecticut Mirror reported in their recent seven-part series on CCJEF, the Bridgeport Public School interim Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz admitted that a student could be illiterate and graduate with a degree. The case found that more students are graduating in Connecticut, but less are actually ready for college.
Really shows priorities: While schools continue to knowingly churn out meaningless diplomas, the teachers union works behind the scenes, pushing to continue watered-down evaluations.