Wash. Senate Passes New Teacher Evaluation System

Feb 14, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington state senate has approved a new four-tier teacher evaluation system. The bill that passed Tuesday also creates a mechanism for firing under-performing teachers who don’t improve.

School kids are graded A through F. But not teachers in Washington. For the most part they’re still evaluated on a pass-fail system. But that’s changing. Several Washington school districts have been piloting a new four-tier teacher rating system. And now the Washington senate has approved legislation that would require all districts to adopt a one through four rating for classroom teachers and principals in time for the 2015 school year. State Senator Rodney Tom is a suburban Seattle Democrat. On the senate floor, he warned that the devil will be in how the new evaluation is implemented at the district level.

Tom: “When you have a four-tier evaluation system you need to make sure that there’s actually four-tiers. You know it’s not a four-tier system if 99.8% are fours and point-two are ones.”

Under the new system, a level 1 teacher is considered unsatisfactory as is a level 2 for more than 2 years. Also, teachers would be graded – in part – based on student test scores. The bill now goes to the Washington House.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network