The percentage of a Michigan teacher’s evaluation that is tied to student test scores would remain at 25 percent instead of jumping to 40 percent next fall, under legislation recently introduced at the recommendation of MEA.
House Bill 5707 was introduced by Republican Aaron Miller and referred to the Committee on Education Reform.
Education experts have long questioned the accuracy and fairness of judging educators based on student test performance. In addition, many parents are pushing back against policies that place a greater emphasis on test scores over creativity, problem solving, citizenship, and other important factors in students’ education.
MEA lobbyists have been working with a handful of Michigan House Republicans to introduce several bills to fix problems in the state’s teacher evaluation system.
Two related bills have been introduced in recent days, and others are in the pipeline.
- HB 5688 would bar an evaluator from conducting the evaluation of a family member.
- HB 5689 would remove the existing limit on the number of teachers that can be rated as highly effective in a school district.
Many states are backing away from stringent requirements for documenting student growth as part of teachers’ scores in formal evaluations, which play an increasing role in teacher layoffs and recalls.
These changes have been allowed under more flexible rules in the new federal law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced No Child Left Behind.
In fact, several states have backed entirely away from using student growth or standardized test scores in teacher evaluations, recognizing studies that have shown such inaccurate and punitive approaches have not resulted in higher student achievement.