590 Hancock St.

Quincy, MA 02170

for immediate assistance, please email:

quincyteachers@gmail.com

 

Dear BESE member,

I’m writing on behalf of the 940 members of the Quincy Education Association, more than 800 of whom, as PK-12 educators in the Quincy Public Schools, are subject to DESE Educator Evaluation regulations.

Quincy is now in its 4th year under the new Educator Evaluation regulations.

Labor and management in Quincy came together five years ago to bargain evaluation language, in good faith, and with a mutual desire to have only the best educators in front of our Quincy students.  We are proud of the work we’ve accomplished together and, in fact, have maintained a joint labor-management committee to handle questions, concerns, and to discuss implementation issues as they arise. 

Our joint labor management approach to Ed Eval has led to fairly smooth implementation, fairly consistent adherence to contract language, and quick resolutions to concerns that arise.  Labor and management work together to anticipate issues, allow flexibility in deadlines, and most importantly engage in meaningful, respectful dialogue around Educator Evaluation.

The anticipation of Student Impact Rating was handled, again, with a good amount of joint labor-management discussion and agreement, although no formal bargaining has taken place.  Our educators were brought into the process of developing District-Determined Measures.  QEA was pleased that educators were an important part of this process.  And in all of our discussions with management, it became clearer and clearer that the notion of determining a Low, Moderate, or High ’impact’ rating was unattainable and impossible to quantify. 

I was pleased this Fall to hear DESE Commissioner Mitchell Chester’s announcement that he is willing to address concerns about the separate Student Impact rating.  However, his proposal to add a Student Learning indicator to the Summative Rating, falls short of addressing these concerns and, in fact, creates serious new concerns for educators. 

Commissioner Chester’s latest proposal to add a Student Learning indicator to the Summative Rating is superfluous and potentially divisive and disruptive, as well as carries a huge potential for misuse and misinterpretation. 

The Student Learning indicator, as defined in his proposal, is defined as ‘Consistently demonstrates expected impact on student learning based on multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement…’

Expected Impact is defined in the proposal as ‘… the educator meets or exceeds anticipated student learning gains….’

As good as our labor-management relations are in Quincy, I expect this language will create an impossible requirement — the determination of ‘anticipated student learning gains’ and ‘expected impact’.  Both terms are equally imprecise and equally unattainable.  For these reasons, we feel the Student Learning indicator is invalid and unfair as evidence of educator proficiency and adds no value to the Educator Evaluation process. 

The placement of the Student Learning indicator in Standard II compounds the concerns we have around its validity.  As you know, educators must receive a Proficient rating or better in Standard II in order to move to or stay on a Self-Directed Growth plan.  It is unclear in his proposal how much weight is given to the Student Learning indicator in determining a rating for Standard II.  Without the Proficient rating in Standard II, an educator is moved to a far more serious Directed Growth plan.

There is no doubt about the seriousness of your obligation in ensuring that our students are taught by qualified, caring, and skilled MA public school educators who are evaluated fairly, thoroughly, and by a process that is as valid, reliable, and consistent.  But, in your mission to strengthen the Commonwealth’s public education system, you are in a position to ensure a thoughtful, fact-based, common sense approach to regulations. 

And, from my four years of experience working with Ed Eval as a local President, as well as my 18 years prior as a classroom teacher to inform me, I can honestly say that the current Summative Rating regulations, as is, provide ample tools for a well-trained evaluator to evaluate fairly, thoroughly, and consistently, and in a manner that gives support to our educators as well as reassurance to you that only the best educators are in front of our students.

In full disclosure to you, I provided testimony at the State House in Boston at a hearing on this topic in June 2016, and I participated in meetings this Fall with MassPartners on this topic.  All of my work has been in an effort to find common ground, reach a more just and valid process, and to represent Quincy educators as they work hard in our classrooms day after day, doing the great and privileged work of educating the next generation. 

In closing, I encourage you to vote against the current proposal to add the SL indicator to Standard II.  And, if the current proposal should not prevail, I then encourage you to oppose the original Student Impact Rating proposal. 

And if student learning is to be a part of educator evaluation, then I encourage you to request that Commissioner Chester work with educators to find a more meaningful and valid approach to looking at Student Learning in the context of educator evaluation.

I’m very happy to help in this and would be grateful for any opportunity to speak to you, Commissioner Chester, or address the board on this matter.

Sincerely,

Allison G. Cox

President

Quincy Education Association, Inc.

Please click HERE for the

June 2015 QEA/QPS Educator Evaluation FAQ!

Attention Building Reps!

Click here for the

2012 MTA Association Rep Handbook

QEA Contracts

Jan. 31 -- State of the City address; 7 p.m. City Hall

Feb. 1 -- GIC public hearing; 12:30 p.m. BPL

Feb. 3 -- Formative Assessment deadline

Feb. 8 -- School Committee; 6:30 p.m., Coddington

Feb. 20-24 -- February school vacation week

Please let QEA know of any items of interest for the Calendar at quincyteachers@gmail.com

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The only requirement at this time is posting of interim reports, final term grades and attendance. 

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NEW!!

Unit A

New contract language 2015-2017, 2017-2020 HERE

Salary Schedules 2015-2020 posted HERE

New contracts for Units A & C are being printed and will be distributed to all buildings as soon as they are ready.

Educator Evaluation

Any member placed on a Directed Growth plan should contact QEA for assistance.

Any member placed on an Improvement Plan should contact QEA for immediate assistance.  This plan is typically 30 days from start to finish, and the consequences are extremely serious and can lead to termination. 

QEA Calendar of Events 2016-2017

2016 Dues for Tax Purposes

Units A, C, & D full-time dues for Jan-Dec 2016 were $867.92

The following was submitted as public comments by QEA President Allison Cox to BESE on Jan. 26, 2017: