How significant will the Colorado teacher law be?

CBS4 Denver has its own story on the new teacher-tenure law signed into law in Colorado last week. Among the points: Backs hope the law will help the state in its quest for “Race to the Top” funds, since “first round winners Tennessee and Delaware have moved to link teacher evaluations to student performance.”

The state’s chapter of the American Federation of Teachers has about 3,000 members. It backed the bill. The Colorado Education Association, the state’s affiliate of the NEA, has 40,000 members. It opposed the bill.

The CEA, however, will have 3 seats on a council that will be responsible for designing the mechanism by which the law will be carried out.

The story was also carried on Education Week. One person who left a comment there warns us that there’s still much we don’t know about how this will will play out:

Many of the provisions don’t take effect for 5 years and there is a committee that has to come up with definitions of “effective” teaching and plans for how the student achievement will be tied to the evaluation. The recommendations from the committee have to come back through the legislature where I’m sure they will get amended and watered down to something nearly meaningless.

Despite all the screaming, tears, and histrionics associated with this – its actually a very incremental change from the status quo. That disappoints me.

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