Category Archives: Teachers

350+ teachers rally against mandating tests in evaluations

WEA members rallied in Olympia Thursday to oppose legislation mandating state test scores in teacher evaluations. It rained a lot, but educators were undeterred.

WEA members rallied in Olympia Thursday to oppose legislation mandating state test scores in teacher evaluations. It rained a lot, but educators were undeterred.

Hundreds of WEA members lobbied and rallied in Olympia Thursday against legislation that would mandate the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations – -a policy they say won’t help them or their students and will actually be harmful.

“I was proud and moved by the fact that more than 350 of my educator colleagues would come down to Olympia on a miserable March Thursday to stand up for what’s right. We believe in the power of a unified voice. By working together and speaking out, we can make things better for both students and educators,” said Justin Fox-Bailey, president of the Snohomish Education Association.

Despite strong opposition from Fox-Bailey and other teachers across the state, some legislators continue to push two evaluation bills that would mandate the use of state test scores in evaluations– House Bill 2800 and Senate Bill 5880. One or both could be voted on soon in the Legislature, which adjourns March 13.

Many legislators told teachers they oppose the bills and will not vote for them. Other legislators, however, falsely claimed Washington will lose federal education funding if the bills don’t pass, a claim originally made by Supt. of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. For the truth, read this document.

Along with their local teacher’s union presidents, several school district superintendents have co-signed letters to legislators stating their position to the bills.

“We write to you in firm opposition to current efforts to require the use of federally mandated standardized test scores in teacher evaluations. Federally mandated statewide student assessments are not relevant to every teacher and subject matter. We believe such an approach will undermine the authentic work we have done in the Shoreline School District and create inequities in evaluation criteria for our teachers.

“…it is a failed policy that is not supported by research. It will not help students learn or educators grow, and we believe it will do great harm,” wrote Shoreline School District Superintendent Susanne Walker and Shoreline Education Association President David Guthrie. Read the complete letter here, or a similar one from Fox-Bailey and Snohomish Supt. Bill Mester.

Rally

Teachers are taking a stand against inappropriate high-stakes testing.

Selena Killin, a kindergarten teacher in Shoreline who serves on her district’s evaluation committee, spoke at a noon rally on the capitol campus and implored legislators not to change the evaluation law, which she said would undercut the work her district is doing to implement the new system.

Several legislators attended the rally against the two bills, including Sen.  Rosemary McAuliffe, Rep. Steve Bergquist, Rep. Derek Stanford, Rep. Luis Moscoso and Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, a WEA member and Everett educator. Another Everett teacher, Mike Wilson, also spoke at the rally. Wilson is running for an open House seat in the 44th Legislative District and is recommended by WEA-PAC.

“Teachers oppose mandating the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations – Vote NO on SB 5880 and HB 2800,” said WEA President Kim Mead, who led the rally.

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.

Message to Legislature: Vote NO on SB 5880 and HB 2800

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 800-562-6000Continue Reading

Lawmakers face competing teacher evaluation bills

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 theContinue Reading

Despite defeat, Senate introduces another evaluation bill

More than 5,500 educators have signed an online petition opposing the test mandate, and more than 1,100 have emailed their legislators since Sunday. (Click here to email your legislators.) Even though the state Senate already killed a teacher evaluation bill by an overwhelming vote, Republican Sen. Andy Hill introduced yet another evaluation bill Monday – with noContinue Reading

Teacher evaluation bill rises again

Over the weekend, a bill mandating the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations resurfaced in Olympia. The state Senate killed earlier legislation, but now it’s back under a different bill number: House Bill 2800. Email your legislators and tell them in clear terms why you oppose the mandated use of state test scoresContinue Reading