After months without action, House Bill 5707 – the bipartisan bill that would freeze the percentage of evaluations based on student growth at 25 percent instead of a planned increase to 40 percent – will receive a hearing this Thursday in the House Education Reform Committee.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis), addresses one of many concerns voiced by MEA members about their evaluations and the procedures being used. In particular, increasing the weight assigned to standardized tests will continue to put greater emphasis on those tests, instead of ensuring students get the well-rounded education they deserve. Introduced in March, HB 5707 hasn’t seen any action to date – Thursday’s hearing will be the first input lawmakers receive about the legislation.
That’s why we’re asking you to take action today and send an email to the 15 members of the House Education Reform Committee asking for them to pass this important legislation quickly to stop the planned increase from happening this school year.
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.
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.
Learn more about HB 5707 and other legislation introduced this spring to address evaluation issues.