Last week, in recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, 20 CEC members had the unique opportunity to sit down for a conversation at the U.S. Department of Education to discuss many of the most pressing issues in education, including new teacher evaluation systems and the implementation of college and career ready standards.
Special educators from the Washington, DC area echoed feelings of their colleagues from across the nation, highlighting both the positive and areas of concern in the education reforms now unfolding in most states.
Many states are in the midst of revamping their teacher evaluation systems to adhere to the requirements of the ESEA waivers and Race to the Top. During last week’s conversation, many CEC members agreed that the new evaluation systems have sparked a more meaningful , reflective conversation about the roles, responsibilities and contributions of special educators and have allowed for more targeted professional development. But, at the same time, many challenges still remain including ensuring that the right data is collected and used in its proper way, the need for more meaningful feedback from evaluators, and the caution that evaluation systems may be reinforcing silos between general and special education – rather than supporting collaborative approaches.
For a great summary of the conversation, check out Charmelle Smith’s Reality 101 blog posting!
And this week, the U.S. Department of Education is hosting a special education feedback discussion. To learn more about this discussion and how to participate, please read our Policy Insider story.
Thank you special educators for your work every day on behalf of children and youth with exceptionalities and their families!!