A proposed teacher-tracking system in Colorado that some see as the key to getting millions in extra stimulus money has gotten bogged down because of a fight between state lawmakers and the teachers’ union.
At issue is a plan to set up a way to track teachers and principals as they move from school to school, and to see how their students perform. The main aim is to close the gap that stems from the tendency of experienced teachers to work in high-achieving schools serving middle- and upper-income students and newer ones to more often work in schools serving minority and low-income children.
The measure passed the state House as a small pilot program with the backing of the Colorado Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association. Backers in the Senate hope to tap federal stimulus money to implement the program statewide and allow districts to use the information to sanction teachers and principals. The union opposes allowing sanctions under the bill, which was approved by the House with a specific ban on using the information to punish teachers and principals.
A version of this article appeared in the April 01, 2009 edition of Education Week