Teachers fight against Smarter Balanced evaluations - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Teachers fight against Smarter Balanced evaluations

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Educators are fighting against Smarter Balanced evaluations. (WFSB) Educators are fighting against Smarter Balanced evaluations. (WFSB)

Educators are divided when it comes to testing and teacher evaluations.

The state’s new Smarter Balanced approach allows teachers to be evaluated based on how well students do on tests, but the largest teacher’s union is trying to stop this from happening.

On Monday, teachers told lawmakers they want them to get rid of Smarter Balanced because they feel it can be unfair.

"I want to do things to better my students - and help them become our new workforce. All these things tied to our evaluation just holds it back,” said Roxanne Amiot, who is an automotive teacher.

She said she feels she should not be evaluated on a test she has nothing to do with, such as a master test or the SATs.

Some feel this way of evaluating is unfair to those who teach in low-performing districts.

"Research shows when you start linking a single test score to a teacher’s evaluation, it’s not in the best interest of those students because the tests are discriminatory and biased in nature,” said Mark Waxenberg, of the Connecticut Teachers Association.

There are many people who are against it, however Karissa Niehoff, who is a former principal, said testing is a small part of the entire evaluation.

"Other states use state assessment data for evaluation purposes,” Niehoff said.

It is a complex issue, and one that has divided educators. While some are calling for the new assessment system to be thrown out, others said we should at least give it a try.

"Let it do its job. Don’t let the legislature tell us now, even though we charged you to look at these issues, we don't want you to look at this one,” said Joe Cirasuolo, of the Connecticut Association of Public Schools.

Others said this needs more time, and that districts should work it out for themselves.

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