A Letter to Senate Education: SB 19-247

Below is a letter from JCEA President John Ford to four of the five members of the Colorado Senate Education Committee,

Senators Todd, Hill, Lundeen, and Bridges,

Last week, over 20 educators, parents, and administrators spoke in favor of Senate Bill 19-247, urging you to shift the emphasis from student test scores in educator evaluations, and form a working group to review the implementation of educator performance evaluation systems in Colorado. In fact, only 3 voices, from reform groups, opposed the bill, yet at the end of the evening, Sen Todd motioned to lay the bill over. Why is that? Why would the committee vote to ignore the voices of those working so hard for our students every day? Why would they vote to lay over a bill that had overwhelming testimony in its favor? The answer seems clear to me: you all value the contributions of education reform groups more than you value the real people working tirelessly to make sure our students are successful.

Enclosed you will find letters from our members to their state Senators and elected officials. These letters were written back in February and we have been waiting for this piece of legislation to get introduced to share them. Now that you have taken their voice away, we will share them with you.

In closing I want to make one more thing clear: At the end of the night we heard someone say something regarding the high number of Jeffco voices in the room speaking in opposition of the current evaluation system. The legislator said that it might not be that the current system is broken, but that Jeffco is implementing it wrong. You are absolutely wrong; it’s not that we are implementing the system wrong, it’s that we are smart, innovative, and forward thinking enough to realize that we are implementing a broken system, and we have had enough.

We won’t be silenced anymore,