Teacher-quality laws will work, but they need time
Article from Education Week
By Scott Laband
When Gov. Bill Ritter signed Colorado’s teacher-evaluation framework into law in 2010, he set in motion a powerful transformation of the state’s education system. By passing Senate Bill 10-191 with bipartisan support, the state led the nation in forging a new path forward for tenure and evaluation reform.
As is the case with all revolutions, we understand it will take time to sort out the full impact. But we also know that Colorado’s law immediately wiped out an arcane and ineffective evaluation and tenure system, which has governed most of the nation’s schools for more than 50 years.
The 2010 law requires districts to reimagine their talent-management and educator-support systems by requiring annual performance evaluations, ensuring tenure is earned and not the guarantee of lifetime employment, and ending both seniority-based layoffs and the forced placement of teachers into schools where they neither want to be nor fit well. This has prompted profound change in districts and schools across the state and provides a useful model for states across the country that are also in the early phases of implementing similar policies.