Union Puts the Kibosh on Delaware Testing the Waters

See all posts

Meanwhile in Delaware there are multiple efforts are beginning to link teacher performance with student achievement data. In late August, the state's board of education approved a pilot system that would tie teacher evaluations (not pay) to standardized test results, by factoring student scores in as a mandatory 20 percent of yearly evaluations. The pilot was mandated by the General Assembly four years ago, but its implementation has been stalled over excessive political wrangling and is only now reaching the infant stages of implementation. Yet, just as it met the light of day, the program hit a barrier in the form of the state teachers union which has announced that its teachers will not participate in the pilot.

Apparently, there's a clause in the teacher contract that allows the union to refuse to participate in any pilot, leaving the state board with no recourse but to implement the program without a trial run. No one, from board members to the state Secretary of Education, sees this as a viable option. Board president Joseph Pika argues that the pilots are ?a reasonable place to start,? and pointed out the extensive development process (4 years!) had worked to ensure an even-handed program.

Meanwhile the state's largest school district, Christina, seems immune to the state stalemate and piloting a pay-for-performance system modeled on Denver?s ProComp plan.