HB 576 Public schools; teacher contract and evaluation policies
Public schools; teacher contract and evaluation policies. Makes several changes to the processes by which teachers and certain administrators are evaluated and retained. Teachers, assistant principals, and principals who have not achieved continuing contract status prior to the 2013-2014 school year may be eligible for three-year term contracts. Five years of service is required to attain term contract status. Teachers, assistant principals, and principals with term contract status will be evaluated in the third year of their term contract and will be informally evaluated at least once during each of their first two years. Teachers, assistant principals, and principals who have achieved continuing contract status prior to the 2013-2014 school year will retain their continuing contract status. Teachers, assistant principals, and principals with continuing contract status will be formally evaluated every three years, and evaluated informally at least once each year in which they are not formally evaluated. The bill also defines the standard 10-month contract as 200 days, of which a minimum must be 180 days of instructional time. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2013.
The teacher contract and evaluation policies are currently under review at the General Assembly an will be voted on in a couple of days. This regulatory policy will impact teachers, assistant principals, and principals. Interestingly enough, after reviewing the terms of the “new” policy, there doesn’t seem to be a dramatic divergence from what we already have so the feasibility of this is quite direct.
One of the more noticeable changes is in the wording of “eligible for 3 year term contracts”. The employee would need to work 5 successful year to obtain continuing contract status instead of the current 3 years.
The initial discussion was about doing away with continuing contracts and placing teachers, assistant principals and principals on annual contracts.
If the initial discussion became the main idea of the policy, school administrative teams would have a significant increase in evaluation to include all teachers each year. However with the adjusted policy we have now, I am not sure we would see any change in value or disadvantages. From a system point of view, some changes will need to be done with the physical contracts and the process in which school divisions track the evaluation status.