House Bills 5223 and 5224 reduce the student test results portion of teacher rating criteria from 50 percent down to 20 percent.
The bills also establish a system in which teacher performance is judged based on classroom observations and student growth. This is great news for our state’s educators, who will now have their effectiveness rated in a much more fair manner.
We agree that teachers need to be evaluated, and those who aren’t doing their job need to get with the program or find a new line of work.
Make no mistake — there are plenty of lousy teachers out there who are just happy to be cashing a paycheck each week. But they are a minority. There are many more wonderful teachers who put in countless hours before and after school to make sure they’re doing their best to educate the young minds that come through their doors each day.
Previously, 50 percent of a teacher’s effectiveness rating — which can be used to rank teachers and, in some cases, lead to layoffs for those at the bottom of the list —was based on standardized test scores.
We’re much more comfortable with teachers being evaluated by experts in their field, who actually come into the classroom and observe the teacher at work.
There’s so much more to education than standardized testing. Kudos to our state’s lawmakers for recognizing that.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.