Partnership For Learning

WALEG: PFL testifies in support of 3 teacher evaluation bills

Anne Heavey, policy manager of Partnership for Learning, the education foundation of the Washington Roundtable, testifed today (Jan. 16) in support of Senate Bills 5246, 5960 and 6055 (see a comparison of the bills by clicking here). You can view her testimon above or read it below.

In addition, the full 1 hour, 20 minute hearing is available by clicking here. It provides an interesting perspective by many different organizations and associations in the state.

"Chair Litzow and Member of the Committee, I am here today to speak in support of the three bills before you: SB 5246, SB 5960 and SB 6055. 

As you heard during the staff briefing, the core issue and crux of these bills is a technical change that is being requested by the federal Department of Education -- a change that will require, rather than hold as optional, the use of student growth data in a teacher and principals evaluation. At risk if we do not make this change losing flexibility and control over about $38 million of their federal Title I budgets. Districts have chosen to spend that money on things like full-day kindergarten, in-school tutoring, special classes and paraprofessionals to assist teachers in classes with challenged students. If this law is not amended in the 2014 legislative, Washington will most likely lose the ESEA waiver this year and, thus, this flexibility.

These three bills address this need and will ensure that Title I dollars are preserved and districts continue to have the opportunity to spend that money as they have.

We ask for your support in amending the current teacher and principal evaluation law to comply with the demands of the U.S. Department of Education. Thank you for the time to address you today."