The education committees’ chairmen of both legislative chambers are teaming up on a package of K-12 reforms. The legislation would allow schools to use student test scores as a factor in teacher termination, a practice barred by current law.
Senate Education Chairman Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) emphasizes it is just one factor for districts to consider when evaulating an educator’s performance.
“The research shows that a single test is not a good indicator of teacher performance,” Olsen says. “But it’s one of the evaluations that they can use rather than a law saying you can’t use it.”
The head of the state’s largest teachers union testifies against the bill. WEAC President Mary Bell cites a standardized test, the Wisconsin Knowledge Concepts Exam, is not a proper indicator of how well students are being taught.
“The current WKCE was never meant to be a measure of teacher performance. In fact we have been part of reforming the WKCE to better measure student performance.”
Olsen and Assembly Education Chairman Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake) say the bill gives more flexibility for local schools in evaluating teachers with the exam scores, but does not mandate the practice.