Republicans in the state Legislature want to allow school boards in Wisconsin to use teacher evaluations, which are based partly on the results of students’ standardized test scores, as part of the criteria for firing or disciplining educators.
We have some concerns about the details, but it is a good idea to hold teachers accountable for their work and to make state test scores part of that process.
At the moment, student test scores can be used as part of a teacher evaluation but cannot be a basis for dismissal. While poor results on state tests never should be the sole reason for firing or disciplining a teacher, it makes little sense not to consider them as part of a holistic evaluation.
Developing meaningful evaluations is difficult, though, and the Legislature should work with teachers as well as administrators and the state Department of Public Instruction to ensure that this bill considers their perspectives.