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.