It is the position of the AFT CT and CEA, that teachers should NOT take this survey on their own time. This position was arrived at after extensive discussion with the SDE. Therefore, the BFT asks Bristol teachers to NOT take the survey until the district provides time. This time could be made by providing sub coverage (as is being done in some districts, such as Hartford and Ansonia) or using PD time (which many districts are doing, such as Middletown). There is also a second window to take the survey in the fall, which allows districts to utilize PD time just before the start of the school year (which is the plan for Meriden).
This survey is the result of legislation passed two years and teachers understand this was not a district initiative. But our time is valuable, and the district has the time and resources to implement the survey without it becoming a burden on teachers.
A memo from the SDE detailing the requirements can be found here.
The following are some questions and answers that have come up about the reading survey for K-3 teachers. Information can also be accessed by going to the SDE Foundations of Reading Survey page: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2613&pm=1&Q=335450.
Why is the survey required?
Section 13 of Public Act 13-245 requires that commencing in the 2014-15 school year, and biennially thereafter, any teacher during the 2014-15 school year who holds an Elementary Education, or an Integrated Early Childhood N-3 certificate AND who is teaching in Grades K, 1, 2, and/or 3 under that certificate will be required to complete the survey.
How is the survey to be administered?
A district may choose to give the survey in a group setting, or to teachers individually – it’s a schedule and roll-out issue for districts. Groups can be large or small, staggered or participating at the same time. The survey system can accommodate thousands of teachers at the same time. Districts can be flexible about offering the survey in the winter or spring. However they choose to administer the survey, there must be no ‘cost’ to the teacher, which means it must be taken during the school day, or the teacher must somehow be compensated for the time required for completion, and the survey must be administered on school grounds.
What is a “controlled setting”? Does this mean teachers can be in their own classrooms?
It’s a decision the district has to make; the controlled setting refers to a school setting rather than a teacher’s home.
Who should be taking the survey?
Any teacher holding a certificate endorsed in one of the following areas and serving in a position requiring such an endorsement and teaching in Grades Kindergarten, 1, 2 or 3 must complete the survey during the 2014-15 school year: • Integrated ECE/Sped. Nursery–K and Elementary 1-3 (#113) • Elementary education (#001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 008, 013, or 305) • Bilingual elementary education (#009, 902) Any teacher who took and passed the Foundations of Reading Test will be exempt from taking the survey this year. Teachers who hold more than one certification endorsement in addition to the above but are not serving under the above endorsements will not be required to complete the survey. District liaisons will receive from the Connecticut Department of Education a list of teachers who are required to complete the survey based on holding the above certification endorsements and serving in an elementary K-3 teaching assignment and grade. If districts have questions about which teachers should be taking the survey, they can call Georgette or the hotline, or email the dedicated reading survey address.Those identified as having to take the survey are those who are assigned to an affected area THIS school year.
Are there any preparation materials specific to the survey?
There are no practice materials specific to the survey; only specific to the test. The multiple choice items will help prepare teachers for the survey. There are 85 items on the survey, 100 on the FoR Test. Questions are randomized in the survey.
How do I access the survey?
You must have an authorization code given to your by your district reading survey coordinator, who receives it from the SDE. Your code will be unique to you.
What if my name isn’t properly listed on the district reading survey coordinator’s list (due to a name change)? Will that affect my being able to take the survey?
Teacher names are going to be listed as whatever’s listed in the certification file. If a teacher wants to change his/her name in the system, s/he has to contact the SDE. However, a different name won’t affect the district’s ability to give you an authorization code, and for you to take the survey.
Does the survey need to be completed in one sitting?
Yes, the survey has to be completed in one sitting, but does not have to take the allotted 180 minutes. If, for some reason, you are unable to continue working and complete the survey during this sitting, you would have to obtain another authorization code from the district coordinator and begin the survey again from the start.
When can the survey be administered?
Survey can be administered during PD days, faculty meetings, or by providing a sub and teacher release time. This is a local decision.
Can teachers take these surveys on tablets?
The survey is not really recommended for a tablet–more for a PC running windows current version. A PROCTOR MANUAL with detailed information about the survey administration is posted on the SDE website (at the link above).
Does the survey need to have proctors?
Proctoring of the survey is a district decision. If there’s a large group, maybe there would be a proctor, but it’s the SCHOOL OR DISTRICT’s choice. Literacy Coaches may be assigned as proctors—district decision—but anyone serving as proctor should have a background in IT (and the local education association might want to negotiate a stipend).
When are results received?
Results are provided to the teacher upon completion of the survey, and results are put into the teacher’s account and the teacher can access the results report at any time. Each teacher is given a code, and each code is unique to one teacher; codes cannot be shared.
Are results of the survey subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) or can they be used in summative evaluations?
Results are not subject to FOI, not to be included in summative ratings of evaluations, and not to impact certification. Results are meant to be used to determine PD needs—the district liaison will receive the survey results aggregated on the district, school, and grade level.
How are the survey results reported?
Results are reported to each teacher with the number and % of items correct in each of the 3 sub-areas of the survey. The State Department of Education (SDE) gets the individual data for teachers for the purpose of creating aggregate data for the school and the district and to keep “attendance” of who took the survey. The local district only gets aggregate data for the grade, the school, and the district.
How is the need for PD determined, based on the survey results?
Since this is survey, not a test, there is no set ‘threshold score’ for determining whether or not a teacher needs to strengthen knowledge or skills in any particular area of the survey. The criteria for the decisions regarding PD will be made at the local level; the following questions need to be discussed and used to guide those decisions: 1. Will we determine a threshold percentage of items correct in any particular area that we’ll use as guidance for determining whether or not a teacher needs PD? If so, who will make that decision? 2. What else will be used, if anything, in deciding if a teacher needs PD in reading? 3. How can the anonymity of the teacher be maintained? 4. What options will teachers have for deciding who will work with them to determine PD needs? How can we assure those are colleagues with whom teachers have a trusting relationship? 5. How can we offer PD options for teachers that keep the process simple and, whenever possible, part of the district’s PD plan? 6. How many teachers are in each of our school buildings that need PD in any given area? 7. How can we assure that no one person is overburdened with planning PD for teachers? 8. How can we assure that the processes we use recognize the professionalism of teachers?
What are the consequences for teachers who refuse to take the survey?
Currently there are NO SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES FOR TEACHERS NOT TAKING THE SURVEY; however, there is the question of whether refusal to take the survey is tantamount to not fulfilling a professional responsibility (and professional responsibility is included in the CT Common Core of Teaching). A LIST OF THOSE TEACHERS NOT TAKING THE SURVEY WILL BE PROVIDED TO DISTRICTS. THE SDE WILL LOOK INTO WHETHER A DECISION IS NEEDED ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE NOT TAKING THE SURVEY. CEA believes this is a local district area to determine.
Who can see who has taken the survey?
The SDE can track the teachers who have taken the survey. Districts will not have a way to track during the survey window. At districts’ requests, the SDE will be able to provide a list before the end of the survey window of who has completed the survey.