Seattle Times piece is not positive.
"It is discouraging that two individuals could completely block the dialogue from happening," said Ramona Hattendorf, of the Washington state PTA. "The idea of having a good evaluation and discussing how it should be used is not radical."
The evaluation bill is intended to add accountability to the evaluation process by including the use of student achievement data. Even though we are in the second year of a revised evaluation process, new legislation was introduced this year because some lawmakers and others are concerned with the lack of focus in the process on test scores. The legislation would ensure that test scores would be included.
It's worth reviewing what's at stake. Stronger teacher evaluations are set to go statewide in 2013 but a key ingredient, student achievement, is missing from the policy critera. Teachers like the more-robust evaluations' inclusion of individualized development plans and training to help improve their craft.
But efforts to tie them to student growth measures — including test scores — have been rejected by the teachers union and the Democrats who do their bidding. That's too bad. The credibility of the new evaluations hinges on the ability to hold teachers accountable.
Interesting words when one considers that the intent of the original review was to support teacher growth. It would seem that growth is giving way to accountability, a trend that we have seen at the national level. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the course of the session. What I find most interesting is the lack of focus and information on how the legislators will close the budget gap. Same sex marriage, charters, evaluations and much more seem to be taking up their time. Could it be that the budget discussions are taking place behind closed doors and we will only learn about them as the session comes to a close leaving no time to lobby?