AUSTIN (May 6, 2014) Teachers across the state are raising concern after the Texas Education Agency submitted a new evaluation model to the U.S. Department of Education over the weekend.
Last year, Texas schools became exempt from some strict federal accountability requirements apart of the No Child Left Behind act after Texas was granted a conditional waiver from the act by the U.S. Department of Education.
However, the federal government has requested that Texas adopt new teacher and principal evaluation methods as a condition of the waiver.
The new evaluation model submitted over the weekend has been released to the public and is raising concerns with teachers and the Association of Texas Professional Educators.
Under the new proposed model, 20 percent of evaluations for instructors who teach STAAR subjects like reading or math will be based on student growth from year to year on the STAAR test.
The other 80 percent is broken down between classroom observations and teacher self-assessments.
Jennifer Canaday, who handles Governmental Relations with the Association of Texas Professional Educators, says the new model could spell disaster.
"Many educators and parents already feel there is so much emphasis on standardized tests and there is a concern that this may amp that up even further," Canaday said.
Canaday says the pressure on teachers will be revved up in schools that already fumble with state testing, like Waco High which has been deemed academically unacceptable 3 times since 2010.
“I’m already hearing from teachers who have a great deal of anxiety over this who don't like how the test scores are being tied to their jobs,” Canaday said.
Upon approval of the plan, the TEA will implement the proposed model in 71 districts around the state as a pilot program for the 2014 school year.
Though, school districts have the chance to opt out of the pilot program if they do so by May 15th.
The TEA hopes to roll out the model statewide by the 2015 school year.