Don't play politics with teacher evaluations!

Instead of reducing class sizes or restoring educator COLAs, Supt. of Public Instruction Randy Dorn and some state legislators are pushing to mandate the use of state test scores for teacher evaluations -- essentially playing politics with our students' education.

The politicians claim Washington will lose its waiver from federal ESEA (No Child Left Behind) requirements unless state test scores are a mandatory part of teacher evaluations and some falsely claim we’ll lose millions in federal funding.

WEA members strongly oppose this effort for a variety of reasons:

  • The current teacher evaluation law allows school districts to use state test scores, but doesn’t require it. It’s an issue that’s decided locally, which allows flexibility based on local needs.
  • The Legislature and Dorn already have made dramatic changes to our state’s teacher evaluation law. They’ve changed it three times in the last four years.
  • Teachers and administrators in all 295 school districts are working diligently to implement the new teacher evaluation system in a way that improves teaching and benefits students. Changing the evaluation law yet again as Dorn proposes will derail their hard work and good faith efforts to strengthen the teacher evaluation system.
  • Only 16-18 percent of Washington’s teachers teach subjects covered by state tests.
  • There’s no way to predict what the federal government will do regarding ESEA. Washington, D.C. is in disarray.
  • If U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan does revoke Washington’s ESEA waiver, nearly all of Washington’s nearly 3,000 K-12 public schools will be declared “failing” by the federal government. That’s a ludicrous idea, and it defies common sense.
  • If the ESEA waiver is revoked, a small amount of federal funding in some school districts will have to be spent on the purpose originally designated by ESEA, such as after-school programs for students. Contrary to Dorn’s claims, the loss of the waiver will NOT result in a funding cut. There will be NO loss of federal funding if the waiver is revoked.