OLYMPIA - Today, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that will give teachers the tools to ensure every child has a high quality education.
Senate Bill 5895 would follow an existing state effort to move to a statewide four-tier teacher evaluation system by 2015-16, after eight pilot programs have completed tests of what works best. Before 2010, teachers were given either a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade under a two-tier system.
Over the last week, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, Rep. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, and Gov. Gregoire worked hard to reach a compromise on teacher evaluation legislation and released the following statements.
“Parents need the confidence that our schools have the best principals and teachers available,” said Gregoire. “This legislation builds off our already successful evaluation pilot program and makes it better and stronger. I thank all parties for working hard to reach a bipartisan agreement that’s in the best interest of our children and their education.”
“This new teacher evaluation system is good for our kids, teachers and schools,” said McAuliffe. “I am proud this comprehensive package moves our current system forward while also protecting the due process rights of our teachers and professional development opportunities. We will base our new four-tiered evaluations off the great work of our pilot projects. I thank the governor for her leadership in negotiating a compromise.”
“This education reform measure moves Washington towards a merit-based employment system and provides the most fair and equitable approach for teachers and principals,” said Litzow. “But this is really about the children who deserve every opportunity to succeed, and all of the data shows that nothing in a school affects a child’s educational achievement more than having a great teacher.”
“Washington is collaboratively building an evaluation system from the ground up, rather than top down,” said Lytton. “Experts in our pilot project classrooms will recommend best practices, based on experience, to help all our students.”
“Quality teachers in every classroom – that was the priority of everyone involved in the negotiations. This bill leverages the previous work of the evaluation pilots and moves us forward as a state. It provides the professional development needed to strengthen our teachers and principals, and helps promote excellence in our classrooms,” said Dammeier. “I appreciate the long hours spent with my colleagues and the commitment by our governor to bring about this important compromise.”
For more information: Alison Dempsey-Hall, Senate Communications, 360.786.7887