HARRISBURG – Senator Ryan Aument (R-Landisville) introduced a proposal this week that would make major revisions to the way educator performance is evaluated in the Commonwealth, creating a more accurate, fair, and meaningful evaluation system.
Aument said that although the current evaluation system that was enacted in 2012 was well-intended, it has come up short in providing school districts, career & technical centers, and intermediate units with a system to improve student academic performance by giving educators useful and actionable feedback to help them improve and share best practices.
“As the author of the original teacher evaluation bill in 2012, I can confidently say that the implementation of the current system does not match the original intent,” Aument said. “As such, it is our responsibility to get it right, and I have been working towards that goal in a collaborative and methodical approach with the people who directly use and are impacted by the system.”
For the past two years, Senator Aument has worked with teachers, administrators, and education advocates to address the various shortcomings of the current system. The result is Senate Bill 751, which creates a new system using many of the same goals of the original proposal in 2012, but with the benefit of hindsight and the input of motivated stakeholders.
Senate Bill 751 increases the teacher observation portion of the evaluation to 70 percent of the total score, providing administrators with increased flexibility while also reducing the reliance on standardized testing in the system.
Further, the revised system will take into account the impact of poverty on student academic outcomes, on a teacher’s ability to teach, and on the overall school environment.
Aument said the current system has hindered efforts to attract and keep Pennsylvania’s best and brightest teachers in high-poverty, low-performing schools.
“The data clearly tells us that the number one in-school factor in determining student academic achievement is a high-quality teacher. Our evaluation system should not deter those distinguished educators from bringing their talents to the schools and students that need them most,” said Aument.
“Ensuring our students have access to high-quality teaching and providing the resources those educators need to deliver a world-class education should be something we can all agree on. Senate Bill 751 is the first step to appropriately identify those educators and remove the barriers that keep them from where they are most needed.”
CONTACT: Stephanie Buchanan (717) 787-4420