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Evaluation System Would Identify ‘Ineffective’ Michigan Teachers

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LANSING (WWJ) – Shape up or be fired: That’s what could happen to teachers deemed ineffective under a proposed evaluation system to be considered by state lawmakers.

Based in part on classroom performance and test scores, teachers in all Michigan’s public and charter schools would be rated “professional,” “provisional, or “ineffective.”

“Ineffective refers to teachers who are seriously under-performing; that is the students are not growing adequately,” said Dr. Deborah Ball, chair of the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness (MCEE), which drew up recommendations for the system.

Teachers under that category would be given two years to work on a set of improvement recommendations. If they do not improve in two years, they will be terminated.  “In this plan, everyone will receive feedback for improvement every year instead of a system where feedback is seen as a weakness,” Ball said.

According to the MCEE, until now, Michigan school leaders have had little objective information about educators’ effectiveness. In 2012, the nonpartisan Center for Michigan polled Michigan residents and found that 69 percent of people believe it is important or crucial to hold educators more accountable for student learning outcomes.

Ball said administrators would also be evaluated.

She said Lansing cannot stick the cost of the evaluation program to cash-strapped schools.

“We certainly highly recommend this not be another expense passed down to districts, If this happens, this will not be possible,” Ball said.

State lawmakers could begin hearings on the proposal as early as next month.

Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, who chairs the Senate Education Committee said the new evaluation system, if approved by the Legislature, would require all Michigan schools to have an educator evaluation system in place by 2015–16.

The MCEE – an independent commission  of education experts — was created in 2011 by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature as part of an effort to improve classroom instruction for state’s 1.5 million K-12 students.

MORE: Panel Recommends New Statewide Teacher Evaluation System

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