Great Teachers, Great Leaders
Sen. Johnston Works on Legislation to Improve Colorado’s Education System
DENVER— Today Senator Mike Johnston (D-Denver) passed groundbreaking legislation through the Senate Education Committee to ensure high quality educators for Colorado’s kids and great leaders within our state school systems. Senate Bill 191 will create an efficient and effective means for evaluating teachers and principals. SB 191 passed committee 7-1.
The Governor’s Council of Educator Effectiveness will develop fair and valid criteria for reviewing teachers in which 50% of their score will depend on the continued academic growth of their students. Teachers will earn “non-probationary status” after three consecutive years of demonstrated effectiveness, while teachers who fail to improve will continue to have probationary status. Principals will be evaluated not just on the continued success of their students, but the success of their teaching staff. In this way educators and principals can work together to close the achievement gap in Colorado.
“Research shows us that teachers and principals are key to a students’ success,” stated Senator Johnston who has previously worked as a Denver principal. “This bill is going to help us retain and reward our best teachers, develop and support our newer teachers, and make Colorado a leader in education nationally.”
To ensure the criteria for review will be transparent and meaningful, four members of the Governor’s Council of Educator Effectiveness will be teachers, and only an evaluation system with unanimous approval will be adopted. Teachers who continue to show progress and growth will be put on track for exciting new career paths with additional pay and responsibility. To help teachers who are struggling. this measure will also create a database where they can find more effective teaching strategies and learn from other educators in the state.
Senator Bob Bacon (D-Fort Collins), who is chairman of the Senate Education Committee, worked with Sen. Johnston to amend SB 191. “Senate Bill 191 has been the product of many hours of negotiations, research, and input from teachers, principals, parents, and education experts,” said Sen. Bacon. Sen. Bacon was a teacher for 30 years and also a School Board Member. “We want to transform our public school system and enhance the teaching profession effectively, intelligently, and cooperatively.”
The bill was amended in committee. One amendment pushed implementation of the new evaluation system for teacher tenure has been pushed back from 2011 to 2014. Senate Bill 191 has the support of the Stand for Children Colorado Program, Education Reform Now, the Colorado Association of School Boards, and the Colorado State Board of Education.
Fact Sheet on Great Teacher and Leaders bill: FS 4.20.10 Great Teachers and Leaders.pdf