Letters to the Editor

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EDUCATION: State doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel

Letter by Colene Acker, Gig Harbor on April 4, 2014 at 11:38 am with No Comments »
April 4, 2014 12:05 pm

Has anyone looked into how other states are complying with the No Child Left Behind requirement of tying test scores to teacher evaluations?

The Wisconsin Department of Instruction spent months trying to determine an equitable solution to using student test scores. One part of the solution has been to average the scores of all the students in a building and use a whole school score rather than an individual classroom score.

This way all the teachers in a building have a stake in each student’s success, whether they are a gym teacher, a guidance counselor or a classroom teacher. Test scores are used as only one factor in a teacher’s evaluation, and socioeconomic backgrounds of a school population are also taken into consideration.

I’m sure there are many other states that have found reasonable solutions as well. Why reinvent the wheel or give up the federal dollars altogether?

Washington is already lagging behind in properly funding public education. Maybe we could use the $40 million from the federal government to create smaller class sizes in schools that are low performing, which has been proven to increase student learning.

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