HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives on Wednesday cast a strong, if symbolic, vote in favor of widening the scope of professional evaluations for tens of thousands of teachers and principals across the state.
By a 199-0 tally, representatives approved a compromise amendment to the bill sponsored by Rep. Ryan Aument that balanced many lawmakers’ desire to overhaul the system against concerns over how much weight should be given to students’ achievement and the best way to measure it.
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has targeted the overhaul of the teacher evaluation system as one of his top legislative priorities.
Aument’s bill would replace the present evaluation system, which is based entirely on classroom observations by superiors. The proposed new hybrid system would rely on those observations for only half of an educator’s rating. The other half would be based on a 16 different measures of student achievement, including standardized test scores, but also classroom activities, quiz scores and school projects.