Workgroup aims to transform teacher evaluation recommendations into legislation

A bi-partisan workgroup of legislators, education advocates and others is working to take the Michigan Council on Education Effectiveness’ recommendations for creating a new statewide teacher evaluation system and transform them into legislation.

MEA is part of the workgroup, and MEA staff lobbyists are meeting with teachers in the 13 Michigan school districts that participated last year in MCEE’s pilot project to get their front-end input on the teacher evaluation legislation.

MEA supports a majority of the MCEE’s recommendations, which if implemented would replace the 800 different evaluation systems currently used across the state with what the council calls a “fair, transparent and feasible” system for evaluating teachers and school administrators.

“[The MCEE] report constitutes an improvement over what educators are currently experiencing in our public schools,” MEA Vice President Nancy Strachan, a veteran teacher with nearly 40 years of classroom experience, recently said. “The report provides a strategy to improve educational outcomes by focusing on student learning objectives.”

“The evaluation process should be focused on professional growth as an educator — not simply a tool to terminate employees,” Strachan said. “We need to add a support system of professional learning.”