Wyoming Senate committee OKs classroom cameras bill

2011-01-25T00:45:00Z 2011-01-25T08:02:52Z Wyoming Senate committee OKs classroom cameras billBy JOAN BARRON - Star-Tribune capital bureau Casper Star-Tribune Online

CHEYENNE -- A Senate committee Monday added a teacher evaluation program using classroom cameras to the list of education proposals moving through the Legislature.

Senate File 114 would establish an enhanced teacher evaluation pilot program in four school districts chosen by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.

The bill would require use of built-in classroom cameras to record at least one unannounced class period per semester for each teacher in the district.

The Senate Education Committee voted 4-1 to send the bill to the floor of the Senate for debate.

The sponsor, Sen. Ray Peterson, R-Cowley, said the key to the program is getting parents to participate.

The bill requires that a parent selected to participate in evaluating a class attend the monthly meeting of the parent organization. The parent group also is required to report to the school board each month.

The evaluation, Peterson said, can be used to screen out inadequate teachers who move from district to district.

The evaluations can lead to pay increases for teachers or terminations for teachers who receive three consecutive failed evaluations.

"It's a framework," Peterson said.

Hill supports the bill. If the Legislature puts the focus on teachers, she said, other bills like those repealing teacher tenure and establishing accountability standards won't be necessary.

What is needed, she said, is to focus on leadership "in the buildings."

Also needed is a measure of student performance people can trust, which is not currently available, Hill said.

Kathryn Valido, president of the Wyoming Education Association, said her organization opposes the bill.

"These are public schools, and we have nothing to hide," Valido said.

Because of the federal education privacy law, school officials must get permission from parents to videotape their students, she said.

She also said nearly every class has special-needs students.

The bill, she said, has "huge, unintended consequences."

Valido also said with so many working parents, it will be difficult to find any who can devote that much time in the classroom.

Sen. Hank Coe, R-Cody, the committee chairman, said he wanted all education bills -- the video pilot program, teacher tenure repeal and the accountability bill -- "in the mix" for debate this session.

Also voting yes were Sens. Kit Jennings and Bill Landen, both R-Casper, and Paul Barnard, R-Evanston.

Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, voted no. He said the bill should have a $10 million appropriation to cover the lawsuits over invasion of privacy it will provoke.

The committee, he said, was taking a "heavy-handed, big government" approach.

Contact Joan Barron at 307-632-1244 or joan.barron@trib.com


Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Untitled Document

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps...

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

  5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at editors@trib.com, or call Editor Jason Adrians at 266-0545 or Content Director David Mayberry at 266-0633. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

  6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

  7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

  8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Featured Businesses

Latest Offers