Mass. Teachers To Tie Careers To Test Scores

The largest teachers union in Massachusetts is proposing changes in the way teachers are evaluated, including the controversial concept of linking student test scores to pay and promotions.

The report from the Massachusetts Teachers Association released Tuesday includes a number of new proposals for evaluating teachers, such as using MCAS scores.

Union President Paul Toner said the union has to help shape reforms, instead of having reform forced on it.

"Ultimately, this whole evaluation process needs to help teachers improve their practice," Toner said. "It can't be an 'I gotcha' system."

Some teachers oppose the practice because they says standardized tests fail to capture the full range of learning experiences and penalize teachers in classrooms with students from challenging backgrounds.

State Education Secretary Paul Reville praised the union for its proposal.

"The fact that the largest teachers association in the state has come forward with a thoughtful, nuanced, constructive proposal in some very sensitive areas is I think a very helpful contribution to the work we have underway," Reville said.

A special commission is already drafting guidelines for new ways to evaluate teachers.

This program aired on December 21, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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