A bill to keep standardized test scores from taking on even greater importance in the lives of teachers and students in Michigan passed the state House on Wednesday following a months-long push by MEA and other education groups.
Hundreds of educators and parents have contacted legislators in support of House Bill 5707, a measure that would keep the percentage of an educator’s evaluation that is tied to student growth measures at 25 percent instead of jumping to 40 percent this school year.
Critics have said the increased role of test scores in educator evaluations does not accurately reflect a teacher’s classroom performance and intensifies the pressure to teach to the test – discouraging deeper learning and lessons that focus on critical thinking.
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.
The bill now moves on to the state Senate.