Allowing test scores to be factored into teacher firings is one step closer to becoming law, under a K-12 reform bill the Senate Education Committee passed Tuesday. Education Chair Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), who sponsored the bill, says exam results would be only one factor in educator evaluation.
Olsen adds school officials are given flexibility in deciding which teachers to hire. “We don’t tell them when you are interviewing them, ‘these are the things you need to evaluate them on.” The Ripon Republican believes schools should be given the same latitude in disciplining their teachers.
Democrats on the panel warn of a slippery slope with tests becoming more-and-more of a focus. “I realize it’s not the only thing but it could be end up being a major piece of what they look at,” says Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee).
The bill was amended to incorporate a “value added” provision which determines student improvement over the years. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) called it “an improvement.”
The legislation passed 4-3 with all Democrats voting against it.