The slogan of teacher unions – leave no union member behind – was on full display when the state’s Advisory Committee on Educator Evaluation met. By contrast, at best any interest in children’s education was feigned.
This panel was formed as a result of enactment of Act 54 of 2010 that changed the way teacher evaluations occur. The legislation specified scoring half of an annual evaluation (formerly conducted every three years) on the basis of student improvement in a subject area from the previous year, with the other half being on subjective assessments of teaching. However, not every subject area lends itself to objective subject-area testing and details of the subjective half remained unspecified, hence the purpose of the committee, comprised of 23 members, mostly teachers, with slots for representatives of both of the state’s major teachers’ unions, to figure out the details of assessment.
Rather than do that, unions whined how they were not being allowed input into the process, even though they had plenty during the legislative process that created it and through their panel membership – and then proceeded to make suggestions outside of the scope of the law that represented a desire to reverse a battle already lost. That input consisted of – surprise – reducing the objective portion of the evaluation as that will make clearer who cannot sufficiently improve students.