After Inslee caved to Duncan's demand that Washington State law reflect a "must" use test scores for teacher evaluation, rather than "can" as it currently does, the Legislature is moving a bill around.
I'm going on the record - I don't have a problem with using test scores for teacher evaluation (even though there is virtually no proof they really show anything about how well a teacher teaches) but I know there is no way that their use will be reasonable. The powers that be want them at 50% or more and that is unacceptable to me.
I also note that hey! guess what's embedded in the House bill - that the use of "student input may also be used." Well now, that's interesting. SPS is "piloting" a student survey that is being pushed by Teachers United and student input just happens to show up in the bill. Go figure.
I urge you to weigh in on this issue to your legislator (see bill numbers below).
Here's what the WEA says:
"Even though the state Senate already killed a teacher evaluation bill
by an overwhelming vote, Republican Sen. Andy Hill introduced yet
another evaluation bill Monday – with no advance notice.
Hill, chairman of the Senate budget committee, also gave the bill a
hearing in his committee Monday afternoon. And over the weekend,
legislators introduced a similar bill in the House (House Bill 2800).
Hill’s Senate bill is even worse than earlier proposals, including the one the Senate defeated. His bill, Senate Bill 5880,
would require the use of state tests in teacher evaluations beginning
next school year, and would remain in effect regardless of whether
Washington’s No Child Left Behind waiver is extended.
Teachers oppose mandating the use of state test scores in teacher
evaluations and are urging legislators to vote no on SB 5880 and HB
Here’s an excerpt from WEA Lobbyist Lucinda Young’s testimony in opposition to SB 5880:
“Next fall Washington administers a brand new state test. Aside from
the fact that no one has seen the test, and we don’t know if it will be
valid and reliable and have no cultural bias, it cannot measure student
growth in the same year that it’s administered and may not measure
absolute student growth at all.
“There is no substantiated research that links standardized state
tests with teacher quality. We shouldn’t pretend that it does. Therefore
it cannot be used as a valid approach to measure teacher effectiveness.
It seems illogical to use a brand new test built on standards that not
all school districts have fully introduced to determine whether or not a
teacher is improving his/her practice.
“Additionally, this test is offered once a year, is summative not
diagnostic, and scores are returned in the late summer. Long after
students have left and moved to their next classroom. This bill mandates
the use of a test that has not and will never have growth data.
Educators understand what that means and remain adamantly opposed.”
I will point out that this is EXACTLY what Diane Ravitch had to say at the NPE conference. How is a test taken in one part of the year with one teacher going to help another teacher? Unless you have a school-wide collaboration where teachers sit down with each other and walk thru each test score so that the previous year's teacher talks about the student as he/she knows them to the new teacher, this is not useful in aiding successful teaching.
Use of these scores also encourages the kind of public mania to see these scores that backfired so terribly in both NYC and LA. Again, that's wrong.