LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed a bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov that creates new educator evaluation standards, establishes Michigan as a preeminent state for teacher quality and positions the state to once again lead the country in student performance.
Under Public Act 173, teachers will be evaluated based on their students’ academic improvement and by principals and others observing their classroom performance. School administrators will be evaluated on the same system, the same student academic improvement and the quality of the evaluations they perform on their teachers.
PA 173 completes Michigan’s teacher and administrator evaluation statute, enacted in 2011 as part of comprehensive changes to the state’s antiquated teacher tenure law. That restructuring required hiring, firing and tenure-granting decisions to be based on performance, rather than seniority, as measured by evaluations.
“It took four years to fully solidify the landmark tenure reforms of 2011, but those are finally realized,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “School districts now have the necessary tools to identify their best educators, help struggling ones improve, and ensure every classroom is staffed with the best teacher possible. This is what Michigan students deserve, and I’m proud of this accomplishment.”
Pavlov’s bill was supported by a historic, bipartisan coalition of every known education association, ranging from superintendents, principals and other school administrators to teacher unions, education reform groups, business leaders and nationally recognized education experts.
“Today is a great day for kids across Michigan because policy makers and frontline educators worked side by side to achieve important reforms to improve our educational system,” said Mark A. Burton, executive director, Tri-County Alliance for Public Education. “After a long, four-year journey, we now have a consistent and meaningful set of laws guiding educators towards a higher level of performance in our schools, and this would not have been possible without Senator Pavlov’s leadership throughout its entirety.”
Chris Wigent, the executive director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, praised legislators’ work on the measure.
“This new law represents a fair compromise on a critical issue for teachers and administrators,” Wigent said. “I commend Senator Pavlov and am pleased with the bipartisan manner in which lawmakers worked to allow flexibility in each district while setting high and appropriate standards for professional practice and continuous improvement.”
Under the law, student academic growth will initially account for 25 percent of an educator’s evaluation and then increase to 40 percent in 2018-2019. The state will provide recommended tools for scoring classroom performance, but districts will be able to modify or develop their own measurements to best fit their local circumstances.
“We are pleased that this important legislation has been signed by the governor today,” said Dr. Judith Pritchett, chief academic officer, Macomb Intermediate School District. “This law provides a fair and meaningful educator evaluation process that will assist teachers across the state as they set goals and reflect on their instructional practices for increasing student achievement. It also provides a process for administrators to analyze the impact of their leadership at the building and district levels.”
Pavlov said that Michigan students deserve the best, and this new law holds schools accountable.
“Michigan now has a cutting-edge evaluation law that sets standardized quality criteria and rightly emphasizes student growth, while providing adequate flexibility at the local level to let school districts meet their individual students’ and educators’ needs,” Pavlov said. “This law creates accountability for our schools to deliver the best classroom learning environment possible.”
Photo caption: A historic coalition gathered Thursday as Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township (standing, center) that creates new educator evaluation standards, establishes Michigan as a preeminent state for teacher quality and positions the state to once again lead the country in student performance. Also pictured at the governor’s desk, from left, are Reps. Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor and Amanda Price, R-Park Township, and Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage.
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