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Aug 2, 2013 10:00 PM by Tony Spehar -

Local teachers prepare for new evaluation system

Beginning this year teachers across Colorado face a new system of evaluating their performance that drew heavy opposition when it was first proposed.

Under the new system educators can be graded from "highly effective" to "ineffective." If a teacher receives too many low grades they face the possibility of losing their tenure and newer teachers might not be able to achieve tenure status. Half of the grad will be based on student performance with the other half coming from observations from administrators or fellow teachers.

The new system has been tested in certain districts over the past few years while administrators and teachers across the state have been trained in how to perform teacher evaluations.

The grading system received criticism from teachers and teachers unions when it was first being considered and approved. However, many opinions have changed as the system has been tested and tweaked. Aubrey Huey, a middle school choir teacher in El Paso County, said she initially had misgivings about the system but changed her mind and actually likes that programs like choir will be evaluated for effectiveness.  She thinks the new system will bring benefits to students.

"With any new system that's introduced into a profession I think there's just the fear of the unknown," Huey explained. "People were very anxious, nervous about this new system but again the more we learn the more it makes sense."

The new grading system will be put in place this fall, low ratings can start affecting teachers in the 2014-2015 school year.



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