Gov. Tomblin’s teacher evaluation bill makes its way through the West Virginia Legislature
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By Steven Allen Adams | West Virginia Watchdog
CHARLESTON — A bill creating new standards for evaluating and mentoring teachers in West Virginia’s school systems is making its way through committees in the West Virginia Legislature
If passed, a teacher would take yearly evaluations based partly on standardized tests and overall student growth. A side goal of the legislation is putting the evaluation in place so the state can request a waiver from the provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
The House Education Committee passed HB4236 nearly two weeks ago, while subcommittee of the Senate Education Committee passed SB372 on to the full committee this morning. State Sen. Richard Browning (D-Wyoming), the chairman of the subcommittee, said they would wait for HB4236 and amend their version into the House bill.
“There shouldn’t be that much difference,” Browning said. “I put some findings in here simply because I want to stress how important school attendance is. I want to try to do that with every bill we pass in Education.”
The subcommittee amendment includes several findings, including expectations of the bill, the needed strengthening of the teacher mentoring program included in the bill, calling for increased funding for the mentoring program, focusing on student attendance, and requiring reporting to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability.
“This bill contemplates, and I agree with it, a lot more mentoring and a lot more collaboration among teachers. I think the best thing we can do with teachers is allow them to watch master teachers teach and learn how to do it.
“I want to stress that that teachers that are coming out of college should be prepared to teach,” he said. “The bill kind of gives the idea that we’re going to teach everybody to teach once they become teachers. I don’t agree with that. I think they’re teachers when they get here. We just have to make sure we keep them that way and teach them some tricks of the trade.”
- Lawmakers and interest groups work on Tomblin’s teacher evaluation bill (westvirginia.watchdog.org)
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