Tuesday, February 17, 2009

House Gives Preliminary Nod to Teacher Identifier Pilot Project

Some of the state's teachers and principals will be assigned a tracking number, and the academic achievements of their students correlated with those educators' years of experience and other personal information, under a bill given preliminary approval by the House Tuesday.

HB 1065 would create a pilot project, to be employed in at least three of the state's school districts, that would aim to use information about educators' training, experience, and professional continuing education affect their performance.

The bill is not controversial, at least not publicly. It was recommended by the Quality Teachers Commission in a report issued last summer.

According to that report, the identifier program should not be used to punish a teacher or principal or play any role in their job evaluations. HB 1065 includes language stating that "the data obtained from the pilot program shall not be used to negatively sanction individual educators."

The Quality Teachers Commission is to recommend whether to expand the program to all of Colorado's school districts and make it permanent by the end of 2010.

The Quality Teachers Commission was created by the legislature in 2007.

HB 1065 is sponsored by Rep. Debbie Benefield, D-Arvada, and Sen. Nancy Spence, R-Centennial.