You might recall from a prior post that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pulled the state of Washington’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver because the state did not met the U.S. Department of Education’s timeline for tying teacher evaluations to student test scores (i.e., using growth or value-added modeling). Washington was the first to lose its waiver, but hopefully not the last.
Teachers in Washington achieved yet another victory in this regard.
As per a recent article in The Seattle Times (see also a related post here), it looks like “After four months of negotiations, a five-day [teachers] strike and one final all-night [negotiations] talk, the Seattle teachers union and Seattle Public Schools reached a tentative contract agreement,” that is (if it is ultimately finalized), will:
- Remove test scores from playing any role in teacher evaluations;
- Give teachers significantly more say in how often students are tested;
- Secure for teachers pay increases of 9.5 percent over three years, in addition to the state cost-of-living adjustment of 4.8 percent over two years;
- Pay teachers for the longer school days they are to teach (longer school days are forthcoming);
- Lower special-education student-teacher ratios;
- Lower teacher specialists’ caseloads;
- Allow for guaranteed recesses for students; etc.
As also noted in this article, this is certainly “groundbreaking,” especially given the federal politics and policies surrounding, as most pertinent to followers of this blog, using test scores to evaluate teachers (see bullet #1 above).
Hopefully other states can, and will follow suit…