SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of January 10, 2018
Title: An act relating to the frequency of evaluations for certain educators.
Brief Description: Concerning the frequency of evaluations for certain educators.
Sponsors: House Committee on Education (originally sponsored by Representatives McCaslin, Bergquist, Holy, Ryu, Stokesbary, Orwall, Volz, Haler, Stambaugh, Griffey, Chandler, Blake, Dent, McDonald, Dolan, Shea, Koster, Short, Pettigrew, Fey, Santos, Smith, Hargrove, Sells, Pollet, Muri and Young).
Brief History: Passed House: 2/27/17, 96-0.
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 3/14/17.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Staff: Alia Kennedy (786-7405)
Background: Teacher Certifications. There are two levels of teacher certification in Washington: residency and professional. The residency certificate is a regular or initial teacher certification that is required for most first-time and out-of-state applicants. To obtain a residency certificate, applicants must complete an approved teacher preparation program and pass both a basic skills and content test.
The professional certificate is an advanced level of teacher certification. Teachers in Washington are required to obtain the professional certificate sometime between their third and seventh years of teaching. To obtain a professional certificate, most teachers either complete the ProTeach Portfolio, an external, uniform assessment adopted by Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB), or become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Principal Certifications. Washington also has two levels of certification for principals, or building administrators. To obtain a residency principal certificate, applicants must complete an approved principal preparation program, have documented successful school-based experience in an instructional role with students, and hold, or have held, a valid residency or professional teacher certificate or educational staff associate certificate. To obtain a professional principal certificate, applicants must have documentation of three contracted school years of employment as a principal or assistant principal, complete an approved professional principal certificate program, and complete coursework in issues of abuse.
There is currently no national principal certificate.
Teacher and Principal Evaluation System. Since the 2015-16 school year, all teachers and principals in Washington are subject to a level-four rating evaluation system that covers eight specified minimum criteria. Teachers and principals receive an annual evaluation that focuses on one of the eight criteria. Every four years, the evaluation must be comprehensive and use all eight criteria. A teacher or principal may be transferred from a focused evaluation to a comprehensive summative evaluation at the request of the teacher or principal, or at the direction of the teacher's or principal's evaluator.
Annual comprehensive summative evaluations must be given in the following cases:
new teachers and principals in the first three years of employment;
new principals in the first year of employment, if previously employed as a principal by another district in Washington for three or more consecutive school years; and
teachers or principals receiving a level-one or level-two rating in the previous year.
A steering committee composed of teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, and parents created models for implementing the evaluation system criteria, professional development programs, and evaluator trainings. The committee examined implementation issues and refined tools used for the evaluation system through the 2015-16 implementation phase.
Summary of Bill: Classroom teachers with a professional teacher certificate or a National Board Certificate and principals with a Washington professional principal certificate who previously received a comprehensive performance rating of level-three or above must receive a comprehensive performance evaluation at least every six years.
The steering committee's work is extended through July 1, 2022.
The term revised evaluation system is replaced with the term four-level rating evaluation system throughout the statute. References to summative are removed throughout the statute when describing the evaluations and ratings, and the following terms are used instead: comprehensive performance evaluation; comprehensive performance rating; focused performance evaluation; and focused performance rating.
Language related to the revised evaluation implementation schedule, pilots, and related reports is removed. Distinctions between classroom teachers and principals who have, and have not, been transitioned to the "revised" system are removed where these distinctions are no longer applicable.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill rewards good teachers for being good teachers, and gives them more time to innovate in the classroom. Extending the comprehensive evaluation schedule allows principals to work with teachers who are receiving lower evaluation scores. The Teacher Principal Evaluation Program (TPEP) is robust and provides honest and detailed feedback to teachers with regard to their practice. There are safeguards in statute in which an educator can be transferred back to a comprehensive evaluation. Comprehensive plans take up a lot of a principal's time. The steering committee is an invaluable resource for TPEP. Teachers view focused evaluations as time to delve into specific areas where they need growth, and the two year extension of the comprehensive evaluation would still allow for this.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Bob McCaslin, Prime Sponsor; Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association; Sue Anderson, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction; Jean Marczynski, West Valley School District; Robert Maxwell, Pullman.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.