Tying teacher evaluations to student achievement would be major reform

By cori

According to Bridge Magazine, some teacher accountability advocates are upset at a proposal to give school districts more control over how teachers are evaluated. The issue, reports Bridge writer Ron French, is that legislation put forward by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair, would not impose statewide criteria for districts to use when evaluating teachers.

However, it appears that what Bridge Magazine characterizes as "a single, powerful senator kill[ing] serious reform of teacher evaluation" amounts to Pavlov refusing to prescribe a list of particular “evaluation models” to local school districts.

The legislation proposed by Pavlov would require by 2018-19, broadly:

— Up to 40 percent of a teacher's total evaluation would be based on student academic growth: This would be split between academic growth as measured on state tests and academic growth as measured by the district. The split prescribed in the legislation would require at least 16 percent of a teacher's total evaluation to depend on state tests, and the remaining portion of a teacher's evaluation that depends on student growth (up to 24 percent) would depend on a measure chosen by the local school district.

— Another 60 percent of a teacher's evaluation would depend on a method chosen by the district. The evaluation method would have to be used consistently across a district's schools, with information about the tool posted on the district's website, including research backing its use and the qualifications of the person who created it, among other things.

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