I wrote in two prior posts (here and here) about how in Alabama, just this past January, the Grand Old Party (GOP) put forth a bill to become an act, titled the Rewarding Advancement in Instruction and Student Excellence (RAISE) Act. Its purpose was to promote the usage of students’ test scores to grade and pay teachers annual bonuses (i.e., “supplements”) as per their performance, and “provide a procedure for observing and evaluating teachers” to help make other “significant differentiation[s] in pay, retention, promotion, dismissals, and other staffing decisions, including transfers, placements, and preferences in the event of reductions in force, [as] primarily [based] on evaluation results.” The bill was also to have extended the time to obtain tenure from three to five years, and all teachers’ test-based measures were to account for up to 25% of their yearly evaluations. Likewise, all of this was to happen at the state level, regardless of the fact that the state was no longer required to move forward with such a teacher evaluation system post the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA; see prior posts about the ESSA here, here, and here).
Now it looks like this bill has been officially “shelved.”
As per an Association Press release here, the GOP leader of the Alabama Senate Del Marsh says that “he is shelving his education bill for the session after continued resistance to the idea of tying teacher evaluations to test score improvement…he was frustrated by the pushback from some education groups.
This is great news for educators in Alabama, as well as potentially other states (e.g., Georgia, see for example here) regarding trends to come. See also a prior post on what other states in the south are similarly doing here.