SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Gov. Promotes Higher Teacher Evaluation Bar;
Encourages performance-based teacher evaluations


November 23, 2012
Friday PM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell, in a letter to the State Board of Education and Early Development, expressed hope that the board will adopt higher professional content and performance standards for teachers and principals.

The governor encouraged the board to be bold in setting the bar higher and weigh teacher evaluations based on student learning. His letter also proposes dropping certain outdated and unnecessary testing of Alaska children.

The Governor said he is encouraged the State Board of Education is proposing and working through a regulatory proposal regarding professional content and performance standards for Alaska's school teachers and administrators. He thanked the Board for their focus on including student learning as an important factor in teacher and administrator performance evaluations. I write to encourage the Board

“I know that student learning is important to members of the board and I am asking you to be bold and lead in this with me,” Governor Parnell wrote. “Together, let’s set the bar high and focus on improving student learning in our schools and getting the resources to properly assess progress.”

Governor Parnell sent a simultaneous letter to parent-teacher associations and other organizations in the state, encouraging support for performance-based teacher evaluations.

“In Alaska, we hold our skilled and caring educators in high regard,” Governor Parnell wrote. “Across the nation, educators and advocates for change have adopted these higher standards that reward effective teaching.”

The governor has been a strong advocate for education in Alaska. In addition to requesting a waiver from numerous one-size-fits-all federal mandates, he worked with the Legislature to establish the Alaska Performance Scholarship, encouraging students to take more rigorous coursework and earn a scholarship to an Alaska college, university or approved trade school. Last year, he welcomed and approved the raised academic standards for mathematics and language arts, adopted by the state board.

“Nearly 20 states in the nation now weight at least 33 percent, and many 50 percent, of a teacher’s performance evaluation based on student academic progress. I would like Alaska to lead in this, not bring up the rear with 20 percent of an evaluation focused on student improvement,” the governor added.

The Governor said a number of ways exist to do this and he understands that each will cost money and time. The Board is best suited to figure out how to get to 50 percent of teacher evaluations focused on student academic growth said the Governor.

The proposal will be discussed at the Board of Education meeting in Anchorage on December 6-7, and public comments are being taken until 4 p.m on November 30.


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews



Alaska State Board of Education

Alaska State Board of Education December 2012 Agenda & Info Packets

Governor's Letter Dated 11/21/12


Source of News: 

Office of Gov. Sean Parnell


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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