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Oregon Presents New Plan To Evaluate Teachers

OPB | May 1, 2014 12:06 p.m. | Updated: May 1, 2014 1:48 p.m.

Lincoln High School Math teacher Chuck Slusher (file photo).

Lincoln High School Math teacher Chuck Slusher (file photo).

Rob Manning / OPB

In 2011, Oregon and Washington (and 43 other states) received waivers for failing to meet requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act. That means they weren’t required to have 100 percent of their students “proficient” under current standards. The federal government also granted extra time to implement a plan to evaluate teachers based on their students’ state test scores. Teacher evaluation is a major sticking point for states and the federal government.

This week, Washington became the first state to lose its waiver. US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan didn’t approve the state’s teacher evaluation plan because it didn’t rely on state scores.

Meanwhile, a group of Oregon education professionals has been working to draft a plan that includes test scores — but only as one component of how teachers are evaluated. If the federal government approves it, Oregon will continue to operate under the No Child Left Behind waiver. If not, like Washington, the state will face consequences including the loss of control over funding, mandatory private tutoring, and the prospect of 100 percent of their schools being labeled as “failing.”

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