Hearings Next Week: Bills to Base Evaluations on Standardized-Test Scores

If you think the emphasis on standardized testing in our schools is bad now, just wait and see what happens if the legislature passes SB 4 by Sen. Florence Shapiro, Republican of Plano, and HB 1587, by Rep. Rob Eissler, Republican of The Woodlands. Both bills would overhaul the state appraisal system for teachers by focusing individual evaluations on the scores of a teacher’s students on state tests.

SB 4 says: “The recommended appraisal system must provide that at least 50 percent of the appraisal is based on a measurement of the teacher’s effectiveness and the annual improvement of the teacher’s students’ achievement.” It goes on:  “the recommended appraisal process of teacher with primary instructional responsibilities in a subject and grade for which assessment is administered under [the state accountability system] must provide that the 50 percent measurement is based on standardized achievement data of the teacher’s students….”

HB 1587 says the commissioner of education must develop a new “performance evaluation system for teachers” that will base “a significant portion of the evaluation on the teacher’s student learning objectives and outcomes, which must include student performance on assessment instruments under [the state accountability system]….”

The two bills will be heard on Tuesday, March 29, in the Senate Education Committee and House Public Education Committee respectively.  The next Hotline will tell you more about these bills and other notable items on the hearing agendas of legislative committees next week.