EAST LANSING – The Michigan Education Association today called on lawmakers in the state House to take swift action and pass Senate Bill 122, which would delay a drastic increase in the weight student test scores have on teachers’ evaluations, making the current broken evaluations system worse.
“Michigan educators have been demoralized by the current evaluation process,” said MEA President Paula Herbart. “A one-year pause on the proposed changes could provide an opportunity to make significant improvements that move teacher evaluation from a punitive process to one that helps to improve teaching and learning.”
SB 122 was approved by the Senate on April 10 and is now being considered by the House. The legislation would enact a one-year delay on a scheduled increase in the weight test scores have in the teacher evaluation process. Without legislative intervention, the percentage of a teacher’s evaluations based on test scores would jump from 25 percent to 40 percent this year.
“The current evaluation system reduces collaboration and creates a high-stakes system that pits educators against each other,” continued Herbart. “Lawmakers should pass Senate Bill 122 and take time to listen to teachers on the frontlines to fix the broken evaluation system and make it work for students and teachers.”
A recent survey of nearly 17,000 educators by Launch Michigan found only a third of teachers believe the current evaluations improve teaching and learning. Numerous studies have shown student test scores are not an accurate means of evaluating teachers. Many states are reducing or eliminating the role of standardized test scores in evaluations. SB 122 would provide a window of time for lawmakers to make much-needed changes to the teacher evaluation process.
The April MEA Voice magazine includes in-depth stories from frontline educators about the failures of the current evaluation system – read the stories here.
Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-337-5508