Friday, March 2, 2012

New teacher/principal evaluations rolling out statewide!

Back in 2010, the Legislature set out to mend Washington's broken teacher/principal evaluation system with a measure that is currently being piloted in several school districts around the state. Well, the initial reports have come in -- and by all accounts, the new system is working splendidly, though there is room for improvement.
This is where Senate Bill 5985 comes in. This session, the Legislature approved a measure to make improvements in this new evaluation system. In order to ensure that there's a great teacher in every classroom and a great principal in every school, some of the changes to the new evaluation system include:
  • Implementation: The new evaluation system will be phased into school districts during the 2013-14 school year, and must be fully operational by the 2015-16 school year. Until then, the pilot schools will be continuing to report best practices in order to help with statewide implementation.
  • Professional development: The new system seeks to invest and use the strengths of every individual teacher and principal. Senate Bill 5985 also ensures that each district will be equipped with the necessary tools and resources to implement the new evaluation system.
  • Four-tier evaluation program: Unlike the old two-tier evaluation system, the new system includes four tiers: unsatisfactory, basic, proficient, and distinguished.
  • Student-growth data: A substantial factor in the new system is the use of student-growth data in evaluating teachers and principals. However, safeguards are in place to ensure that the data is used objectively, fairly, and consistently in every district.
In building upon the expertise of our pilot schools, Senate Bill 5985 works with teachers and principals to give Washington kids the very best education possible. If we expect out kids to compete -- and win! -- against the world tomorrow, we'd better make sure they receive world-class schooling today.

To read this story in Spanish, please click here.