Too many people believe they know how to reform education without spending time in the classroom.
The full Senate will be voting on HB 142, a bill relative to teacher evaluation systems. NEA-NH believes that the original bill, before being amended by the Senate Education Committee, helps improve our profession by assuring that all districts have in place a professional appraisal system for educators that was developed with the involvement of educators and principals
The Senate Education amended the bill and removed the wording: “Nothing in this paragraph shall supersede collective bargaining rights under RSA 273-A”. NEA-NH strongly believes this language needs to be put back in to preserve the professional appraisal systems already negotiated and approved by local school boards and associations.
NEA-NH has always been a strong and vocal advocate for a professional performance evaluation process. We believe that, as professionals, there is a valid and legitimate role for performance evaluations. We have invested our lives into ensuring that every child has a quality, caring and committed educator in their classroom. This goal cannot be reached without an effective performance appraisal process in place.
Our criticism of current evaluation processes is that they are not carried out with regularity, are not consistently implemented, and lack the kinds of qualifications, standards and goals that result in improvements to the profession and to public education across the state.
We recognize that school boards are ultimately responsible for the adoption, implementation and monitoring of effective evaluation systems. We believe that these volunteer boards, however, do not all possess the resources, capacity and background to develop the kind of professional evaluation system that will result in improvements to both the teaching profession and to public education. HB 142 originally stated that the local school board must develop a plan and that they may consult educators and administrators.
NEA-NH worked with Senators to make it clear that any teacher evaluation system a school board develops MUST be created with the involvement of education professionals and that evaluation systems already in place through negotiations remained intact.
The Senate Education Committee wants to allow school boards to turn their backs on agreements they have made in good faith, once again displaying their disregard for our profession and their preference to take away the rights of educators and public servants. Education professionals must be part of the development process in order to ensure that student success is at the core of any reform, and that any resulting evaluation process actually drives improvements in the education profession and in public education.