Board changes Hawaii teacher evaluation policy



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HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii teachers will no longer have their performance evaluations directly tied to students' standardized testing scores under a change approved by state education officials.

The Board of Education voted Tuesday to change a policy implemented in the 2013-14 school year that required principals to consider test results in teacher evaluations. The new rule, which takes effect in the upcoming school year, makes considering test results during evaluations a choice for principals, Hawaii News Now reported (http://bit.ly/1suMJ4V).

The decision, backed by the Hawaii Department of Education, comes after the state pushed for test results to be used in teacher evaluations. Education officials had argued it would bring about better feedback for educators and hold teachers responsible for failing students.

Teachers had countered it wasn't fair because of the impact it would have on educators with large numbers of struggling students.

Hawaii's teachers were pleased with the board's decision Tuesday, saying it would help address the state's teacher shortage.

"We have 1,600 openings it looks like in the fall, and part of that has to do with teacher evaluations," said Amy Perruso, a social studies teacher at Mililani High School. "We are hoping that a change in the evaluation system will have a positive impact on teachers and we will be able to retain more and even recruit highly professional teachers."

In the 2014-15 school year, 35 percent of Hawaii's 12,350 teachers were given a "highly effective" rating. About 62 percent were considered effective, and less than 1 percent were rated marginal or unsatisfactory.

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Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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