Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Last Hours for the Teacher Evaluation Bill with Duncan Threat Hanging Over It

 Update from another Rosenthal tweet today at 9:25 am:
House ldr Sullivan on TVW seems to deem teacher evals dead: "In the end, you have to do the right thing regardless of the (feds') threat"

The Washington State Legislature will adjourn their session tomorrow (unless a special session is called by the Governor).

Among the last lame duck bills is the one that would change the wording of the state teacher evaluation bill for the use of test scores in the evaluation from "can" to "must."

The latest from Times' reporter Brian Rosenthal via Twitter:

House ed chair Santos thinks most Dems oppose even Inslee-drafted version of teacher eval bill, never mind Senate version. Not good for bill.

WA House ed chair Sharon Tomiko Santos says she has not heard the teacher-evaluation bill will be brought to the floor for a vote.

I tweeted him to ask if he meant "when" or "if" it will come to floor.

It's do or die time.

Here's a good article from The Olympian which gives a balanced look at this issue.


Catherine said...

So.. isn't this a shell game really?

We still get the money, we are just forced to spend it for A, B, and C, instead of free to spend it anywhere in the education alphabet? If we're already spending money on A, B, and C, don't we just shift the money we're already spending there, to other places in the alphabet?

What am I missing?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Missing, you're actually getting it. I'll put in a link to a fine article in The Olympian that I thought covered it well.

Basically, the districts are NOT using all these dollars. The WEA points out that they had about $27M left over last year. (The WEA told me that Seattle and Tacoma both didn't even use half of their dollars.)

What happens is those dollars roll over into the general fund (that's my understand).

So if we lose the dollars, then districts would have to put aside those dollars BUT any dollars they don't use, go back into their general fund. Now districts may not like budgeting that way but it's not like they will truly lose all that money.

And there was NO guarantee by Duncan that this change would get the waiver.

Catherine said...

Thanks Melissa!

Anonymous said...

I do not find the article "balanced". It frames the problem in the world view pushed by Arne & his minions from Gate$ & the Gate$ A$tro Turf$.

WHY is funding of programs which help poor kids dependent on junk science?

If I was predicting anything based upon my reading of the entrails of chickens or goats or who knows what, I'd be ... put in jail for animal cruelty and completely ignored. However, let's make some fancy unscientific formula with some mathematical symbols which 95% of the population don't understand, let's make fancy power points and fancy spread sheets around the fancy unscientific formulas, and

VOILA !! we have the lie known as "teacher evaluation"!

Oh yeah - and in some complicated scheme of waivers of exceptions of clauses of regulations, we'll blame the teachers for poor kids getting less when teachers refuse to be bullied by unscientific lies.

2000 years ago in Rome, if you rose to some important position or had it handed to you because of your family connections, you were provided with a Haruspex, who would devine the future from animal guts.

Now we got we yuppies and


Disgusting said...

It is essential that Olympia stand with teachers. This has been disgusting.

Falling Sky? said...

I agree, Disgusting. It has been terrible watching Inslee push Arne Duncan's agenda and put fear into the state. I strongly suspect we'll see a waiver in the near future.

Smarter Balanced Assesments are one point and are being trialed- as we speak. Linking this exam to teacher competence makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

The legislature did not act by the time they adjourned last night on either bill in front of them to address the use of state test scores in teacher evaluation. Therefore, there is no change to state law regarding this issue. In other words, state test scores MAY get used in teacher evaluation -- they do not have to be used.

--- swk