Rep Steven Harris (R-Meridian) asked members of the House Education Committee to print a bill that would make gradual, but significant changes to the teacher evaluation process over the next five years. Committee members did print the bill, but several lawmakers cautioned the sponsor that they had concerns that would need to be addressed, should the bill get a public hearing. The legislation, which had not yet been posted on the legislative website by late Tuesday afternoon, would require that districts use a certain percentage of student growth, parental and student input, as well as professional practices 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.
IEA President Penni Cyr worked with other education stakeholders over a two year time period to develop the current teacher evaluation rule, which was approved earlier in this legislative session but could potentially be altered by this proposed legislation. The current rule states that a teacher’s professional practice would make up 67% of their evaluation and must include either parent input, student input or a portfolio. The other 33% would be based on student achievement based on multiple measures including test scores, student growth and other measures like EOCs, teacher input, ongoing classroom assignments and evaluations, etc. Studies show that the single most important factor in student growth is a high quality, professional teacher.
The IEA opposes the measure.