Statewide Teacher Evaluations Move Forward In State Legislature

May 6, 2014

Legislation that would create a statewide teacher evaluation system has cleared its first hurdle in the Michigan Legislature.

A state House panel approved the bills Tuesday with bipartisan support.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

Districts would rate teachers and administrators based on student growth on standardized tests and in-class observations. They would be fired if they’re rated “ineffective” three years in a row.

State Representative Margaret O’Brien is one of the bills’ sponsors. She says the state needs more oversight of how districts determine whether teachers are effective.

“The whole impetus of the evaluation bills have been about bringing certainty and research-based practices to the classroom,” she says.

Representative Bob Genetski and some other Republicans worry about the possible price tag of implementing the evaluations.

   “I could find a lot better places to spend $27-35 million,” he says.

The state is required to implement a new evaluation system under a 2011 law that overhauled teacher tenure in Michigan.