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State Senators Tom and Litzow Sponsor Educator Evaluation Bill

The bill, which also has a companion bill in the House, would include student input and student growth as part of the criteria.

State Senators Rodney Tom (D48-Bellevue) and Steve Litzow (R41-Mercer Island) have sponsored a teacher evaluation bill that introduces performance as a factor over teacher seniority in certain situations.

Senate Bill 6203 would implement statewide minimum criteria that would be applied by the 2013-14 school year.

According to the text of the bill, teachers would be evaluated on instructional skill; classroom management, professional preparation and scholarship; effort toward improvement when needed; the handling of student discipline and attendant problems; and interest in teaching pupils and knowledge of subject matter.

The minimum criteria shall include: (i) Centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement; (ii) demonstrating effective teaching practices; (iii) recognizing individual student learning needs and developing strategies to address those needs; (iv) providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum; (v) fostering and managing a safe, positive learning environment; (vi) using multiple student data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning; (vii) communicating and collaborating with parents and the school community; and (viii) exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instructional practice and student learning.

The four-level rating system used to evaluate the certificated classroom teacher must describe performance along a continuum that indicates the extent to which the criteria have been met or exceeded. Student growth data that is relevant to the teacher and subject matter must be a significant factor in the evaluation process and must be based on multiple measures that can include classroom-based, school-based, district-based, and state-based tools. Student input may also be included in the evaluation process. As used in this subsection, "student growth" means the change in student achievement between two points in time. (d) The superintendent of public instruction shall establish common components of the teacher evaluation systems that must be used by school districts beginning in the 2013-14 school year in order to assure fairness in the conduct of evaluations and comparability of evaluation results across the state.

The bill also specifies that school district policies or collective bargaining agreements will include provisions for consideration of the teachers' and principals' evaluations when contracts are not renewed:

School board policies or collective bargaining agreements that specify procedures and criteria for identifying principals or certificated classroom teachers within an endorsement area to receive a notice of nonrenewal of contract due to enrollment decline or loss of revenue must contain provisions that require consideration of the results of performance evaluations under RCW 28A.405.100 before other factors such as seniority may be considered.

Follow bill SB 6203 here. The webpage for the companion bill HB 2428, which includes Rep. Deb Eddy (D48-Kirkland) as a sponsor, is here.

Stephen Miller January 17, 2012 at 11:46 PM
This bill completely undermines the work the state is in mid-process on regarding changes in teacher evaluation. Basically the same bill died in the education committees last year, since other legislators knew it was a waste of time. Additionally, nearly every state and district that has tied teacher pay to student test scores has found it results in bad consequences and no improvement in student learning. Why are Tom, Litzow, and Eddy wasting time in Olympia when we are in a budget crisis that could result in $ 500 million being cut from already devastated budgets? At the town hall meeting 2 weeks ago the voters told these legislators to fix the budget without cuts. Instead, they sponsor bills that will hurt students and teachers!
Ray Burt January 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Is this the Stephen Miller who was president of Bellevue Teachers Union? It seems like it might be since his points echo the public statements of the current union folks.
Kendall Watson January 18, 2012 at 01:15 AM
I believe Mr. Miller is the council president of WEA-Sammamish UniServ, a regional teachers union organization that represents teachers across the Eastside.

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