Supt. Hofmeister applauds House, Senate for reducing teacher evaluation mandates

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 11, 2016) – House leaders today unanimously passed a bill that eliminates the requirement to use student academic growth in Oklahoma’s teacher evaluation system. House Bill 2957, which is estimated to save Oklahoma school districts millions of dollars and the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) more than $500,000, has been sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.
“Amid this difficult budget year when public education has faced a variety of challenges, House Bill 2957 is a true bright spot of this year’s legislative session,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “By giving districts the option of removing the quantitative portion of teacher evaluations, we not only increase local control but lift outcomes by supporting our teachers while strengthening their professional development and growth in the classroom.”
Also praising the bill for its return to local decision-making was Rep. Michael Rogers, HB 2957’s House author.
“This legislation will return flexibility back to the districts on their evaluations while developing an individualized professional development program that will help all of our teachers and administrators,” he said.
HB 2957 removes the controversial and mandated Value-Added Measures (VAM) – which tie a teacher’s performance rating to student test scores – from OSDE’s Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) evaluation system and effectively eliminates the requirement that evaluation scores be used to terminate teachers. These quantitative evaluation tools will become optional for districts upon the Governor’s signature.
Sen. John W. Ford, who co-authored the bill, said the legislation has been long overdue.
“After gathering input from a variety of stakeholders through a lengthy and thoughtful review process, we feel that HB 2957 promotes increased reflection and professional growth for teachers and leaders,” Ford said. “Now is the time to support the teachers in Oklahoma’s public education system by focusing on an evaluation system that places professional development first.”
TLE qualitative measurements, which evaluate teachers on classroom instruction, the designing and planning of instruction and the learning environment, will remain in place. Teachers who have received a rating of “superior” or “highly effective” will have to be evaluated only once every three years.
The bill also adds a professional development component for teachers and administrators based on their qualitative evaluation. OSDE will introduce this component in the 2016-2017 school year. The program will be piloted in 2017-2018 and is projected to become operational in the 2018-2019 school year.
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Last updated on May 26, 2016