Week 3 of Lame Duck wrapped up with little action. After their late night/early morning session on Wednesday, the State House did not hold session during the day on Thursday. The Senate was in session, but took no action on any bills MEA has been monitoring, including union recertification, innovative schools or teacher prep. The A-F and evaluation bills passed by the House early Thursday morning will be up for consideration next week in the Senate – the final week of Lame Duck 2018!
So far, phones calls and messages from our members have been successful in stopping many bills from making it through both chambers. Stay tuned for calls to action during our final week of lame duck!
House-Passed Evaluation and A-F Bills Send Mixed Testing Signals
In a late night session – which followed a candlelight vigil attended by more than 100 educators from across the state – the State House passed bills related to A-F rating of schools and the percentage of standardized test data included in teacher evaluations. Read more about the vigil and Wednesday night’s legislative action.
One of these bills – HB 5707, which would keep the percentage of a teacher’s evaluation based on student growth data from standardized tests at 25% instead of a planned increase to 40% for this school year – would decrease the stakes on tests. On the other hand, HB 5526 – which mandates an A-F grading system for schools – would increase those stakes.
These two bills send mixed signals about the direction we should take with standardized testing in Michigan. But educators and parents agree — we need to de-emphasize these tests and the time they take away from student learning, not ratchet up the stakes.
We need your help contacting the State Senate to send a clear message that higher stakes on tests is not what Michigan’s students need. Contact your State Senator today and urge them to oppose more emphasis on testing by voting YES on HB 5707 and NO on HB 5526.