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Virginia considers teacher-evaluation system

The state Department of Education is examining how teachers and administrators are evaluated and considering issuing guidelines that would tie teacher pay to student performance.
The education department plans to prepare new teacher-evaluation guidelines that public schools can use to improve student achievement. The new system also could help school divisions develop performance-based compensation plans.
Angela Clevinger, president of the Pulaski County Education Association, shared her views on the potential impact on teacher salaries "saying that you think all children are going to achieve and learn at the same rate. Anyone who knows anything about child development knows that is complete ludicrous. Reading and math levels are a development skill. Anyone who has one or more children knows they achieve at different levels. A good teacher takes a child and helps them improve in a year’s time."
The panel responsible for developing new evaluation guidelines includes teachers, principals, students and representatives of the Virginia Education Association and other groups. The work is being funded by federal money.
The work group aims to test its initial evaluation models on districts with high-poverty and low-performing schools next year.
Clevinger offered a suggestion for how this situation could be remedied by the Department of Education should this plan be approved.
"They should measure the progress that students make while in a classroom," Clevinger said. "They need to measure where the child entered in a particular grade and where they leave. If we are going to measure based on teacher performance, we need to make a teacher progress model. We have to put something in place and change the instruction in a way that will benefit the student to and allow them to make more progress."

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