This week, the state Senate passed a measure (Senate Bill 5748) that would meet U.S. Department of Education requirements to use students’ standardized test scores as a factor in teacher and principal evaluations. Washington State is a step closer to regaining its No Child Left Behind Act waiver.
Washington State lost the waiver last year—the first state in the nation to lose the waiver—due to key Democrats in the state Senate backing out at the last minute. These Democrats came under Washington Education Association pressure and caved. As a result, local school districts across the lost control of nearly $40 million in federal grants allocated to low-income children. Additionally, parents across our state received letters that the school their children attend is failing before the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
According to the Olympian, SB 5748 “would let local school districts and their teacher unions negotiate how the standardized test scores are used in evaluations and how much weight they would be given.” Unfortunately, that leeway isn’t enough to satisfy the self-involved WEA union executives. WEA President Kim Mead said she is “ashamed of the lawmakers who voted for the bill.” She accused lawmakers of selling out “our students.” Based on the WEA’s track record, it would have been more appropriate—and honest—for her to accuse lawmakers of selling out union executives.
The bill passed on a 26-23 vote with 17 Democrats voting “NO.”