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Teachers are committed to providing quality programs and welcome accountability strategies that are effective, fairly implemented, and that achieve meaningful results.
Accountability is an Inherent Part of Teaching
All school boards have supervision and evaluation procedures in place and are responsible for the ongoing evaluation of teachers. In 2006, the government introduced the Education Statute Amendment Act (Student Performance) 2006 (Bill 78).These changes affected beginning teachers, teachers who transfer to a different employing board, the number and use of professional activity days, and the governance of the Ontario College of Teachers.
Entrance to the Profession
Bill 78 cancelled the Ontario Teacher Qualifying Test introduced by the previous government. In its place, the legislation established a new induction program for beginning teachers.
The New Teacher Induction Program includes orientation, mentoring, professional development and training, and a streamlined performance appraisal process.
Beginning teachers and teachers new to a board can complete their initial performance appraisal cycle once they receive two “satisfactory” ratings. It is therefore possible to complete the process within one year. The current four ratings have been reduced to two: “satisfactory” and “not satisfactory.”
Once a teacher receives a second “satisfactory” rating, the board will report the fact to the Ontario College of Teachers. The College will include a notation on the teacher’s Certificate of Qualification.
The Ministry has also streamlined the performance appraisal for more experienced contract teachers. A performance evaluation is usually conducted by a superintendent, principal, or vice-principal, and may occur:
Professional Activity (PA) Days
Bill 78 gave the government the authority to determine both the number and purpose of PA days. The Minister subsequently increased the number of PA days from four to six, restoring two of the five PA days eliminated by the previous government.
Ontario College of Teachers
The Ontario College of Teachers investigates reports of incompetence by school boards and has the authority to suspend or place limits on a teacher’s Certificate of Qualification.
Since the Ontario College of Teachers was established in 1996, ETFO and the other affiliates of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF), have expressed concerns about the under representation on the governing council of classroom teachers, the vast majority of College members.
Bill 78 increased the number of elected teacher representatives on the council from 13 to 19. In addition, there are 14 members appointed by the government and four designated members: one each for principals/vice-principals, supervisory officers, faculty of education members, and private school members.
The Bill also created a Public Interest Committee to oversee the operation of the College. No other professional regulatory body has such a watchdog. The bill also reduces the maximum term of office for those elected or appointed to the governing council from 10 to 6 years, making it difficult to acquire the experience necessary for taking on the additional responsibilities of chair and vice-chair.
Teaching is a highly regulated profession. As well, teachers continually enhance their practice by: