Gov. Snyders opposes teacher evaluation bill being considered by lawmakers

By cori

LANSING — An advisor to Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday he does not support the teacher evaluation changes already approved by the Senate and now being considered by the Michigan House of Representatives.

Karen McPhee, education advisor to Snyder, testified in front of the House Education Committee Thursday morning and repeatedly said the governor was in favor of teacher evaluation bills passed by the House last year. Those bills were based on the state-commissioned report by the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness.

On multiple occasions, McPhee dodged requests to take a position on Senate Bill 103, sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. However, when Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, asked for a "yes or no" answer on the governor's position, McPhee said Snyder is against SB 103.

"Not in its current form," she said.

The committee adjourned without taking a vote on Senate Bill 103, the fourth straight meeting where testimony was heard but no vote was taken on the bill. The lack of a vote means the bill will likely stall in committee until the fall — the House goes on its summer break for much of the next two months.

That means the 2015-16 school year will begin without new teacher evaluation guidelines and student growth will account for 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation.

Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, said the current system in place for evaluating teachers isn't providing parents enough information about who the best teachers are for their children.

"It's a disservice to the parents who are trying to do the best for their students," he said.

According to Pavlov's bill, school districts must implement the same teacher evaluation model in all of their schools. They are allowed to choose the model they believe works best. Information about the model must be posted on the district's website.

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