Conflict may loom over Maryland teacher evaluations

Michael Birnbaum:

Student performance would be the biggest factor in teacher evaluations under draft regulations proposed Tuesday by the Maryland Board of Education.
The new regulations could set the stage for a conflict between education officials and the state’s teachers unions.
All of the state’s public schools would be required to make student progress, as measured by standardized tests and other means, account for at least 50 percent of teacher and principal evaluations by 2012. President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have pressed educators to give student performance more weight in teacher evaluations.
Maryland education officials have said the 50 percent figure is important in showing the state’s commitment to Obama’s education priorities, which could help it qualify for as much as $250 million in federal aid through the Race to the Top competition.