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TEACHER CONTRACT RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS 1

Teacher Contract Research and Analysis

Kevin Quinn

University of New England

Supervision and Evaluation of Instructional Personnel EDU 704

January 6, 2017
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 How would you really use this process to help a teacher improve?
 Under what circumstances, if any, can a teacher be fired (sometimes called
“ nonrenewed” or released)?

Meriden Public Schools utilizes their own district plan, “Meriden Educator Evaluation

and Development,” for teacher evaluations. This evaluation and development plan’s primary

objective is “to provide a learning environment in which educators improve upon their

instructional practice in order to increase student learning” (Meriden Educator Evaluation and

Development Plan, 2016, p. 1).

In Meriden, teachers will fall into one of three potential categories for evaluation: First

and Second Year Educators, educators deemed “Developing” and requiring action, and

Exemplary and Accomplished. First and Second teachers and Developing each must have at least

three formal in-class observations, all of which include a post conference. Additionally, at least

two of the classroom evaluations must include a pre-conference. The remaining teachers in the

district are then placed on an evaluation schedule based on their employee ID number. Teachers

will receive either one in-class formal observation, with a post conference and two reviews of

practice, or three informal observations and one review of practice. A review of practice can be

defined as covering “areas of educator work that cannot be typically observed in a classroom

observation” (Meriden Educator Evaluation and Development Plan, 2016, p.28). This can

include, but is not limited to “a review of lesson plans, reports, curriculum, or observation of
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educator of educator performance during a PPT or data team meeting” (Meriden Educator

Evaluation and Development Plan, 2016, p. 28). However, in addition to the minimum

requirements of the plan, the evaluator or educator can request a formal observation at any time.

Regardless of what evaluation cycle a teacher is on, all teachers in Meriden are required to have

a summative evaluation on a yearly basis.

In addition to administrators, complementary evaluators are authorized to conduct

evaluations and classroom visits. However, administrators must perform evaluations on teachers

who are in year one or two as well as teachers that have received a Developing or Requires

Action designation. Regardless of what evaluation category or cycle a teacher is on, the

procedures evaluators must follow remains the same. A goal setting and planning meeting must

occur prior to October 15th in which a teacher identifies his or her Student Learning Objective

(SLO) for the year. A mid-year check-in occurs during January/February, and an end-of the-year

review is scheduled by June 30th, which measures a teacher’s progress towards their SLO. All

observations, formal or informal and reviews of practice are kept electronically on the

BloomBoard system. According to the district’s evaluation and development plan, “All

observations and Review of Practices should be followed by feedback using the BloomBoard

system within three school days of an observation” (Meriden Educator Evaluation and

Development Plan, 2016, p. 28).

It is the teacher's status of either tenured or non-tenured that determines his or her rights

when termination of employment is suggested (Mooney, 2012). In Meriden’s teachers’ contract,

Connecticut Gen Stat. §10-151b identifies the “procedure for matters involving termination and

non-renewal of certified staff members” (Meriden Teacher’s Contract, 2016, p. 21). Under this
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statute, a teacher needs to be provided with "sufficient opportunities" to be able to improve their

performance with assistance from peers and their administrator and "sufficient time" in order to

do so (Mooney, 2012, p. 259). A non-tenured teacher may be terminated or nonrenewed if they

have not made sufficient progress. However, a tenured teacher is awarded due process (Mooney,

2012). A non-renewal or termination hearing is held before the Board of Education (Mooney,

2012, p. 229). If the board fails to afford the teacher a "full and fair hearing", the teacher's

termination may be reversed (Mooney, 2012, p.229). Finally, a teacher must receive notice in

writing of his or her termination or non-renewal by May 1st.

References

Meriden Educator Evaluation and Development Plan. (November, 2016). Meriden Board of

Education, Meriden, CT

Meriden Teachers’ Contract. (2016). Agreement between Meriden Board of Education and the

Meriden Federation of Teachers (September 1, 2015 --August 31, 2017). Meriden,

Connecticut. Retrieved from

http://teachercontracts.conncan.org/sites/default/files/pdf/tcd_meriden.pdf

Mooney, T. B. (2002). A practical guide to Connecticut school law. Hartford, Conn: Connecticut
Association of Boards of Education.

Cara
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Since my district does not specify the evaluation procedure in the teacher's contract, I

have included the guidelines set forth by the state of Connecticut for teacher supervision and

evaluation. Connecticut Gen Stat. §10-151b (a) identifies that the superintendent shall

"continuously evaluate or cause to be evaluated each teacher" (Mooney, 2012, p. 251).

However, classroom evaluations may also be conducted by school based administrators whom

are delegated that authority by the superintendent. In order to conduct evaluations,

administrators must receive at least fifteen hours of training on teacher evaluation and a

mandatory ninety hours of CEU activities (Mooney, 2012).

The State Board of Education, in conjunction with the Performance Evaluation Advisory

Council, adopted new guidelines for a model teacher evaluation program in 2010. These

guidelines provide, "guidance on the use of multiple indicators of student academic growth"

(Mooney, 2012, p. 254). The first part of the guideline requires the use of Connecticut's

Common Core of Teaching for the definition of "effective teaching" (Mooney, 2012). The state

of Connecticut does not set a requirement for the number of formal observations each teacher

receives; these can be dictated by individual districts. In my district, teachers who are tenured

and have received a rating of Proficient or above for the past two evaluations, may only receive

one formal evaluation and two informal evaluations per year. The informal evaluations do not

need to be classroom based observations but can be observations of a teacher's duty, a school-

based project that the teacher is leading, or meeting that the teacher is facilitating. Non-tenured

teachers and teachers who have received a designation below Proficient may receive three formal

evaluations and three informal observations per year. Each formal observation must have a pre

and post-observation conference between the teacher and his or her evaluator. Our district also

holds mid-year check-in meetings in which a teacher demonstrates progress towards their
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Student Learning Objective (SLO) set at the beginning of the year. At this time, the teacher and

his or her evaluator can modify the goal based on their progress before the end of the year

summative evaluation in which the teacher is given a rating of one of the following: Below

Standard, Developing, Proficient, or Exemplary. Our district uses Charlotte Danielson's (2002)

Framework for Professional Practice for identifying a level of performance in each of the four

domains.

According to the state, a supervision plan needs to include "sufficient opportunities" for

the teacher to be able to improve their performance with assistance from peers and their

administrator and "sufficient time" in order to do so (Mooney, 2012, p. 259). If an administrator

identifies that a teacher is in need of a plan for remediation, the teacher may have union

representation present at their meeting to review their evaluation and develop a ninety-day

improvement plan.

A teacher's status of either tenured or non-tenured determines his or her rights when

termination of employment is suggested (Mooney, 2012). If, at the end of the improvement

period, a determination is made that a teacher is not making sufficient progress, a non-tenured

teacher may be terminated or nonrenewed. However, a tenured teacher is awarded due process

(Mooney, 2012). A non-renewal or termination hearing is held before the Board of Education

who serves in a "quasi-judicial" capacity (Mooney, 2012, p. 229). If the board fails to afford the

teacher a "full and fair hearing", the teacher's termination may be reversed (Mooney, 2012,

p.229). The teacher must receive written notice of his or her termination or non-renewal by May

1st. Teachers are entitled to records kept that relate to their evaluation and performance. These
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records are not deemed public record and may only be disclosed if there is prior written consent

from the teacher.

As an administrator, I would use this evaluation process to help teachers set realistic and

attainable goals for themselves and their students that are aligned to our school improvement

plan, and that can be tracked through progress monitoring throughout the year. It will be these

goals that I will look for evidence of in their formal and informal evaluations and the data

collected from the progress monitoring of these goals to discuss with them at their mid-year and

summative evaluations. The feedback that they receive from me and from their peer observers

will be specific to helping teachers hone their instructional techniques in order to maximize the

progress towards their goal and ultimately increase student achievement.


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References

Mooney, T. B. (2002). A practical guide to Connecticut school law. Hartford, Conn: Connecticut
Association of Boards of Education.