Apr 16, 2009

HB 2261 passes; WEA flips out

WEA president Mary Lindquist is outraged over the passage of ESHB 2261. Via email:
This bill is a travesty and an insult to the education profession. The groups behind it are vested interests masquerading as concerned citizens who care for children. Yet they’re denigrating and dismissing those of us who actually educate our state’s children!

Contrary to what you may hear or read, HB 2261 is a bogus education “reform” bill that blames educators instead of focusing on the REAL problem facing our schools: The nearly $2 billion in cuts to K-12 and higher education.
What's got Lindquist and the WEA so steamed?

Merit pay.

Quoth the bill:
27 CERTIFICATION. (1) By January 1, 2010, the professional educator standards board shall adopt a set of teacher knowledge, skill, and performance standards for effective teaching that are documented in high-quality research as being associated with improved student learning and articulated on a career continuum.

(2) By January 1, 2010, the professional educator standards board shall submit to the governor and the education and fiscal committees of the legislature:
(a) An update on the status of implementation of the professional certificate external and uniform assessment authorized in RCW 28A.410.210;
(b) A proposal for a valid and reliable classroom-based means of evaluating teacher effectiveness as a culminating measure for residency certification that involves multiple measures of teacher performance in classrooms and a role for state-trained evaluators;
(c) Estimated costs and statutory authority needed for further development and implementation of the assessments in this subsection (2); and
(d) Recommendations for other modifications to residency, professional, and ongoing professional certification that focus on demonstrated performance and professional growth rather than enrollment in certification programs or continuing education.

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