Date: March 21, 2013
The Honorable Stefan Pryor
Commissioner of Education
Connecticut Department of Education
165 Capitol Avenue
Room 305, State Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1630
Dear Commissioner Pryor:
I am writing to inform you of the outcome of the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) review of Connecticut’s guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems. During the week of July 16, 2012, two peer experts reviewed Connecticut’s guidelines and the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of Connecticut’s request. ED staff also reviewed Connecticut’s submission, and both the peers and ED provided feedback to Connecticut regarding its submission.
Based on the review of Connecticut’s guidelines, the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of its ESEA flexibility request, and the information Connecticut submitted in September 2012, January 2013, and February 2013 in response to peer and ED feedback, it is determined that Connecticut has not yet adopted guidelines for its teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet all requirements of ESEA flexibility.
In particular, Connecticut has not yet finalized how it will measure growth for teachers of students with disabilities and English Learners or for teachers of non-tested grades and subjects. Connecticut has also not yet finalized how it will ensure that its local educational agencies implement teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with the principles in ESEA flexibility. However, ED has also determined that Connecticut is able to fully meet ESEA flexibility Principle 3 in the 2012–2013 school year while it works to address these issues. Connecticut’s progress, as well as its intent to present its finalized draft guidelines to the Connecticut State Board of Education in March 2013, indicate that it is positioned to submit guidelines that meet all requirements of ESEA flexibility following the end of the 2012–2013 school year.
Please keep in mind that to maintain its approval to implement ESEA flexibility through the end of the 2013–2014 school year, Connecticut must submit to ED for review and approval an amended request that incorporates its final guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with all requirements for these systems under Principle 3 of ESEA flexibility. ED will provide you with additional information regarding this review in the coming months.
Should Connecticut wish to make any other changes that affect its implementation of ESEA flexibility, it may need to amend its approved ESEA flexibility request. If you have any questions regarding the amendment process or anything else related to Connecticut’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, please contact Elizabeth Ross at (202) 260-8961 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A copy of Connecticut’s Principle 3 submission will be posted on ED’s Web site at: http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility/requests/.
I look forward to Connecticut’s continued progress in fully implementing ESEA flexibility and to continuing to support the State as you work to improve the quality of instruction and academic achievement for all students in Connecticut. Thank you for your commitment to all students in Connecticut.
Deborah S. Delisle
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
cc: Charlene Russell-Tucker, Chief Operating Officer