Twenty-nine teachers in New Haven Public Schools will soon find out if their jobs are safe.
Based on the district’s new teacher evaluation system, teachers that fail to score above “developing” for a third year in a row are in jeopardy. The system places teachers into five categories, ranging from “needs improvement” to “exemplary.” This year, there are 18 teachers who were placed into the “needs improvement category,” as well as 11 teachers who failed to score above “developing” for a third year in a row.
By law the district must issue a “nonrenewal” notice by May 1, but nontenured teachers are expected to find out in meetings next week if they will be offered a job next year. They are typically given until the end of the year to improve their performance.
This punishment will not come without warning. Teachers are notified in November if they are on track to score in the “needs improvement” category, and are given support and finally dismissed only if they fail to show improvement over the course of the year. Teachers who continually ranked “developing” were also given notices in November and given the chance to improve throughout the year. In the first two years of the program, only 2 percent of the workforce faced unemployment due to these standards.
In total, 62 teachers, 33 of them tenured, have been removed from New Haven Public Schools system because of the teacher evaluation system rankings.
A report released in October of 2012 said that 90 percent of teachers in the previous year scored in one of the top three rankings of “exemplary,” “strong” or “effective.”