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Teacher evaluation takes its toll

Published 5:28 pm, Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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The state's new evaluation and professional development requirement for educators is coming with a price.

For New Milford, that cost will be $117,473 during the 2013-14 school year, according to Superintendent of Schools JeanAnn Paddyfote's proposed budget.

Known by the acronym SEED (System for Educator Evaluation and Development), the process requires six visits by an administrator to each teacher's classroom during the school year.

There is an instructional cost of $89,000 to teach the administrators how to implement the process. Then several online programs must be purchased for instructional testing.

Surveys will be conducted by a professional firm for parents and students feedback on teacher performance.

There will be an ongoing dialogue between teachers and administrators throughout the process. And there is a learning curve for teachers in how to respond to the feedback from each administrative visit. Administrators will also be evaluated.

"SEED's implementation will be rocky for the first couple of years," said Joshua Smith, assistant superintendent of schools.

"The good news is, the process is founded in strong educational practice," he added. "The bad news is, we're not going to wait until all the bugs are worked out. We're going to start it now (2013-14)."

The SEED model was developed by a panel of educators. This school year, 2012-13, 10 pilot SEED programs are ongoing. The 10 schools involved will provide feedback and the SEED process will be refined to begin 2013-14.

To meet the administrative demands of SEED, the assistant principal positions at New Milford's three elementary schools would become full-time. This change increases the certified staff salary line by a total of $173,904.

Calls for comment to New Milford teachers union president Kim Patela were not returned.

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322