Debate Over Statewide Teacher Evaluations Underway In Lansing

Jan 22, 2014

Bipartisan legislation in Lansing would create a statewide system to evaluate teachers and school administrators.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, the evaluations would be based partly on student growth and standardized tests.

Districts are required to have a teacher evaluation system in place under a 2011 law that overhauled teacher tenure in Michigan. But some in the state Legislature say many districts are not doing a good job evaluating teachers.

Republican state Representative Margaret O’Brien sponsored one of two bills to create a statewide system. She says the goal is to help educators get better – not punish them.

“Teachers want to grow, they want to be high-performing,” she says.  “They are begging for consistent feedback that helps them develop, whether they’re great or struggling.”

Some lawmakers say it’s a bad idea to tie evaluations to standardized tests while the state is in the process of replacing the Michigan Educational Assessment Program – or MEAP.