Over the objections of the Idaho Education Association, the Idaho School Boards Association, and the Idaho Association of School Administrators, the House Education Committee this morning sent HB 556 to the floor with a ‘do pass’ recommendation.
Rep. Steven Harris (R-Meridian) wrote HB 556 because he and some of his colleagues were not happy with a teacher evaluation rule passed earlier this session. If passed, this new bill would supersede that rule making gradual, but significant changes to the teacher evaluation process over the next five years. The legislation would require that districts use a certain percentage of student growth, parental and student input, as well as professional practice to evaluate teachers; and, those percentages would shift every other year until 2020 when at least 50% of a teacher’s evaluation would be based on student growth, at least 15% would be based on parent and student input, and at least 25% would be based on the teacher’s professional practice.
The three stakeholder groups offered a compromise that would have changed the rule to ensure that parent and student input were a part of all local evaluation processes while also remaining committed to the important purpose of teacher evaluation—improved professional practice. An effort was made to hold the bill in committee, but that motion was ultimately rejected. The bill now moves on to the full House.