Importance of student growth in new teacher evaluation bill continues to drop

By cori

LANSING — The role of student growth in teacher evaluations would decrease under a new plan approved Tuesday by a panel of Michigan lawmakers.

The Senate Education Committee voted to send Senate Bill 130 to the full Senate 4-1, with Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, the lone hold out on the Republican-controlled committee.

The latest version of the bill, proposed by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, requires student growth to be measured by research-based growth measures or assessments. The bill calls for half of the assessment measure to come from state tests and the other half to come from local tests.

An amendment by Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, and approved by the committee called for student growth to make up 40 percent of a teacher's evaluation upon full implementation in 2016-17. If it's signed into law, the bill would require the student growth portion of a teacher's evaluation to be 40 percent by 2017-18.

Current state law requires that amount be 50 percent and the bill originally called for student growth to make up 45 percent of a teacher's evaluation.

"Based on the testimony we've been hearing ... we've heard from a number of superintendents and based on that feedback, I think 40 percent is an umber that's achievable," Knollenberg said.

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