Union Applauds Freeze on Using Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations

Aug 27, 2013

Rhode Island teachers are breathing a sigh of relief now that state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has postponed the inclusion of test scores on teacher evaluations for a year.  

Gist will consult with federal officials about whether the postponement will require a waiver to avoid jeopardizing the 75 million dollar Race to the Top grant.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Student results on the New England Common Assessment Program were supposed to be folded in to teacher evaluations starting this school year. Gist said the policy is widely misunderstood. A year, she said, should give them ample time to clarify the policy.

Frank Flynn, president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, said the commissioner is clearly listening to her educators.

“If these tests are going to be used with consequence you want to make sure that everyone understands what’s being expected,” he said. “This gives us a period to make sure that happens.”

As things stand now, 4,000 Rhode Island seniors could be deprived of a high school diploma if they don’t improve their NECAP test scores.

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