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March 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Educator-evaluation bill would mandate stricter standards for teachers

Bill doesn’t require standardized testing

It is implied in the March 13 editorial on the educator-evaluation bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor that evaluations will use standardized tests. [“Educator-evaluation law has promise, pitfalls,” Opinion.]

Nothing in the bill mandates the use of standardized tests. It does mandate the use of multiple measures of student growth data, which can be classroom-based, school-based, district-based or state-based.

It also mandates that we have multiple measures of such growth. That teachers become competent assessors of student learning is good for education. That they use standardized tests to do so is not good.

Teachers who have gone through the National Board process have measured student growth as part of doing their portfolios; they did not need standardized tests to do so. Learning to be good assessors of student learning is something teachers learn as they establish their practice. Evaluating a teacher’s ability to assess will be a growth area for both teachers and administrators.

— John Freal, Blaine

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