Email your legislators and tell them why you oppose the mandated use of state test scores in teacher evaluations and then sign this online petition. Or call your legislators’ offices and leave a message. You can look up their direct phone numbers here (call your two state reps and your state senator). Or call the Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000 and leave a message for all three of your state legislators.
Competing House and Senate bills mandating state test scores in teacher evaluations remain alive in Olympia – despite strong opposition from teachers themselves.
The evaluation bills are Senate Bill 5880 and House Bill 2800. WEA members oppose both of them. While there are major differences between the two, both would force school districts to use state test scores in teacher evaluations, despite a lack of research supporting the mandate.
WEA has a clear position that has not changed: We oppose federal or state mandates forcing school districts to use state test scores in teacher evaluations. We believe US Education Secretary Arne Duncan should extend our state’s No Child Left Behind waiver for three years without requiring harmful, politically driven changes to our state’s teacher evaluation law.
More than 5,700 educators have signed this petition to Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn expressing their opposition to the bills.
Despite opposition from teachers, Dorn continues to actively push for the test score mandate. Meanwhile, Dorn has done and said little about the need to reduce Washington’s overcrowded class sizes, which rank 47th out of 50 states.
Since Sunday, more than 1,300 educators have used this cyberlobby page to email their legislators to state their opposition. Hundreds of WEA members from across the state are taking personal or association leave March 6 to lobby their legislators in Olympia and rally at the capitol at noon.
“Wouldn’t it make more sense to put time and money into providing our teachers with the training and resources they need to do a better job rather than determining their value based on some test that will never give an accurate assessment – not all the variables are being considered for an accurate assessment. Our children (our future) deserve the best we can give them. We need to change our focus and put it back on our children,” an opponent of the bills wrote on the OurVoice blog.
Either bill could go to a vote soon – as early as Wednesday. The deadline is March 13, the last day of the legislative session.
Click here to email Olympia and then forward the link to a friend and post it on your Facebook page.
COLA, construction and class size
Late Tuesday afternoon, the state House passed an amended version of the Senate’s supplemental budget. The House amended the budget to include funding for the educator COLA restoration. The House also voted 90-7 to approve a $700 million school construction plan funded by lottery revenue.
The House budget, however, has no funding to reduce class sizes, even though Washington’s class sizes are 47th out of 50 states.
The amended budget now goes back to the Senate. Key senators have said the House construction program probably won’t pass in the Senate.
The House and the Senate have to agree on a final budget plan before the session ends March 13.