Waiver Party Continues: USED Announces One-Year Delay in Using Student Data in Teacher Evaluation

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Earlier today, Secretary Duncan shared a blog post announcing the option for states to pursue a one-year delay in when test results matter for teacher evaluation. You can read his blog post here, along with AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech’s statement. The top line takeaway is that AASA applauds the Department for acknowledging what needs to be done. It is a step in the right direction, we hope it is not a case of ‘too little, too late’, and we urge the Department to continue to listen to and reflect upon feedback from the field as it relates to Common Core, the waivers, and ESEA reauthorization.

RELATED: Read the letter Deb DeLisle sent to all state chiefs with details on the delay.

As a point of summary, states with waivers can pursue a one-year extension, meaning that it will be the 2015-16 school year before schools in those states will have to incorporate student growth measures based on new state assessments into their teacher evaluation systems. States pursuing this delay will still have to calculate their student growth rate on state assessments during the delay and will have to share that data with teachers and principals. In a conversation with the department yesterday, this delay should be pretty cut and dry. If a state applies for the delay and agrees to the two assurances, they will receive the delay. We applaud the streamlined, straightforward approach to this relief (a ‘waiver to the waiver’).

Secretary Duncan wrote “The bottom line is that educators deserve strong support as our schools make vital, and urgently needed, changes.” It is a sentiment we at AASA strongly agree with, both in the context of the Secretary’s announcement today, as well as in the broader conversation of complete ESEA reauthorization. While today’s announcement does reflect the feedback of educators and practitioners (refer to the AASA statement), it is but a sliver of the support schools need. We remain committed to the idea that the best and strongest federal support for our schools is a policy that ensures all federal resources—whether programmatic or funding—are available to all schools, students and states in an equitable manner.


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