Common ground on teacher evaluations needs common facts

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

You can’t agree to disagree if you can’t even agree on what you disagree about.

Yet such is the condition of the debate over using state test results in teacher and principal evaluations. At issue is the demand by the federal Department of Education that if the state wants to keep its waiver from current law known as No Child Left Behind law, it must include state tests as one factor in evaluations.

If the Legislature refuses, the federal government will definitely conclude that nearly every district in the state isn’t meeting annual yearly progress and will be labeled “failing.” That’s current federal law. After that, it is very likely that the Education Department will redirect $44 million in federal Title I money for high-poverty schools.

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