Governor Sean Parnell wants the State Board of Education to make student performance an important part of teacher evaluations. The board has been working for months on drafting a new rule that bases 20 percent of a teacher’s evaluation on student achievement. The Governor wrote a letter to the board this week, asking to boost that figure to 50 percent.
He says it’s important to reward effective teaching:[quote]“About 20 other states have set the bar higher already and said that 30 percent to 50 percent of their teacher evaluations will be based on student learning,” he said. “And I felt it was really time for Alaskans to have a bar set higher and frankly to demonstrate what the good teachers can do.” [/quote]
The state needs to link part of teacher evaluations with student performance to receive a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act.
The teacher union NEA-Alaska has voiced concerns to the state and the Board of Education on the proposed regulation. The group’s president Ron Furher was surprised to hear the governor was weighing in so late in the months long process to draft the rule.
He says the organization is not opposed to linking some part of a teacher’s evaluation to student achievement. But he says the way the rule is currently written, it doesn’t give enough weight to other areas of teacher performance:
“How many students have special needs?” Furher asked. “How many students are English as a second language? How many students have learning disabilities? So to say we’re going to do one shot, one take and you’re going to be judged on that we believe is unfair.”
Furher says this is a hot topic in Alaska education right now. He says over 400 people have weighed in on the proposed regulation. The Department of Education and Early Development is taking comments on the plan until November 30th. The proposal would not link teacher pay to student performance.
- October 9, 2015- The Haines Highway is blocked because of mudslides this afternoon after a couple days of heavy rainfall. According to highway residents, there are four slides between 18 and 21 mile that have made the road impassable.
- October 9, 2015- With just two weeks to go before the special session, state lawmakers have yet to see the natural gas legislation they’ll be discussing – Gov. Bill Walker hasn’t released it.
- October 9, 2015- “I mean I’m not deaf, so I realize it’s pretty funny to listen to," said Mary Maley. "I'm kind of famous as a tour guide for being sort of loud, yelling over engines and having the ability to do that on tour."
- - Anna Lance, 17, says most of the poems she submitted for the competition are about loving Alaska yet wanting to leave.