Yesterday, the State Senate approved a new teacher evaluation bill on a 46-3 vote. Remember this was one of the bills killed in committee last week. The Governor brought two senators and two representatives together over the past week to hammer out this compromise bill. One statement in this Seattle Times article concerns me because across the state we are already into developing models as I shared in this post. Does this mean that we must take one of the three proposed state models and lose the opportunity for a waiver?
The measure builds on the four-level rating system established two years ago by the Legislature.
But this time, the state will offer evaluation templates that districts can choose from instead of having local teachers and administrators design the system.
Even with this vote, however, there are very different opinions on how far the measure goes towards improving education in our state. See below the comments from Senator Tom and Governor Gregoire.
Gov. Chris Gregoire, who went to the Senate to watch the debate, said it was virtually the bill she wanted and commended the negotiators.
"The folks at the table were thoughtful, and I think by the end of the day Washington state comes out as a model for the rest of the country," Gregoire said.
Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, voted for the bill and said he hoped it would make a difference, but didn't think any of the more progressive states would be impressed by Washington's efforts on education.
This is an important bill and one that we need to learn more about and watch closely as it moves to the House for a vote. We do not want to lose the opportunity for a waiver that allows us to continue moving forward on our Classroom 10 evaluation model.
It does also change language related to student achievement data that currently gives the local system much autonomy to a directive in three of the eight evaluation criteria.
Student-growth data — improvement in test scores from one period to the next — would be used in at least three of the eight criteria for both teachers and principals.