Teachers got a big win out of the Georgia House of Representatives Tuesday after lawmakers voted unanimously in favor of reducing the use student test results in educator’s job reviews.
Senate Bill 364 passed the state House of Representatives 172-0, after passing the Senate unanimously last month. The House Education committee made a few changes that must now be approved by the Senate, but the chief sponsor of the bill, Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta, supports the changes, making ultimate passage likely.
The bill amends a 2013 law that required “growth” on state-mandated tests to count for at least half of each teacher evaluation. This legislation reduces that to 30 percent, and it reduces the number of state tests, from 32 to 24. … Read Full Article.
This study finds half or more of the variance in teacher scores from the model is due to random or otherwise unstable sources rather than to reliable information that could predict future performance. Even when derived by averaging several years of teacher scores, effectiveness estimates are unlikely to provide a level of reliability desired in scores used for high-stakes decisions, such as tenure or dismissal. Thus, states may want to be cautious in using student growth percentile scores for teacher evaluation. … Read Full Article.
Dec. 13, 2015 – By Maureen Downey – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
With the higher standards and tougher tests introduced into Georgia schools, shouldn’t we spare teachers any other new initiatives for a while and let them teach?
If the governor has his way, teachers could confront a new merit pay system that would attempt to quantify how their instruction enhanced student learning and pay them accordingly. Gov. Nathan Deal told the AJC he intends to push for merit pay and ask lawmakers to make a “significant” step toward tying teacher pay to their classroom performance. … Link to Full Article
Jan. 9, 2016 – By Greg Bluestein – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Gov. Nathan Deal may face a stiffer hurdle than expected if he tries this year to tie teachers’ pay to their performance in the classroom.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll found that a majority of voters – 56 percent – oppose linking public school teachers’ pay to student performance while about 39 percent back it. The support only ticks marginally upward, to 42 percent, among voters who identify themselves as Republican. … Link to Full Article
Jan. 20, 2016 – By Kelli De Guire, Gordon County Teacher and PAGE Board Member
Coming from the business world in 2003, I have a unique perspective on merit pay. As a technical writer (sometimes a contractor,) getting a bonus for product sales made sense. As employees, we were responsible for design, creation, quality, and customer satisfaction. This model, however, does not make sense for education. While we as teachers are definitely responsible for the design of lessons and implementing them for of our students, we cannot be held responsible for areas that lie outside our realm of control. Poverty in Georgia is a real issue. I can design the world’s best researched and crafted lesson, but if a student hasn’t eaten all weekend or is worried because his parent is in jail … Read Full Article
By Dr. Allene Magill – Executive Director, Professional Association of Georgia Educators
As the leader of Georgia’s largest professional educator association, most readers may be surprised that I support merit pay for teachers that recognizes their performance as determined by their local school and district. School systems already can and do use local funds to provide additional pay for responsibilities or performance criteria. What I cannot support is a mandated merit pay system tied to standardized test scores, as proposed by Gov. Nathan Deal and the Education Reform Commission. Nor can I support merit pay disguised as a method of reducing the state base salary for teachers so that the merit pay portion is necessary to make up the difference. … Read Full Article.
PAGE Letter Commends Superintendent Woods’ Stance Against the ‘Measure, Pressure and Punish’ Approach
Jan. 28, 2015
Dear Superintendent Woods:
I know I speak for the overwhelming majority of our more than 86,000 members when I say thank you for your leadership in revisiting the testing regime both nationally and here in Georgia. To say that you have “hit the ground running” on this issue is an understatement.
PAGE applauds the truths you communicated to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in your letter on the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, more commonly known as No Child Left Behind. You note that in our testing and reporting regime under NCLB we have for far too long relied upon a “measure, pressure and punish model that sets our students, teachers and schools up for failure.” … Read Full Article.