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MISD team testifies before Senate Education Committee

Last month Mercer Island School District Superintendent Gary Plano, accompanied by a team from MISD including MIEA President Tani Lindquist, school administrators Aaron Miller and Mark Roschy and teachers Angela Carey and Brody LaRock, traveled to Olympia to testify before the Senate’s Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee about the district’s teacher evaluation model. The group was invited to participate by Washington state Senator Rosemary McAuliffe.

Neither the district’s model nor any King County district models were selected. Pilot districts include the Anacortes School District, Central Valley School District, Kennewick School District, North Mason School District, North Thurston Public Schools, Othello School District, Snohomish School District and Wenatchee School District.

MISD presented its tool for teacher evaluation, co-developed by district administrators and the teachers’ association over three years ago, through the collective bargaining process.

Plano said the group testified to the value of having involved the teacher’s association in the conversation. He was disappointed MISD wasn’t chosen as a pilot district because participating districts will receive between $100,000 and about $180,000 a year for the two years of the pilot.

MISD teachers and school administrators wanted to move away from a simplistic evaluation process that was composed of only eight criteria and was binary in nature: (satisfactory/unsatisfactory). Instead, the team recommended a system of staff evaluation that allows administrators to assess teaching through a four-tiered model: distinguished, proficient, basic and unsatisfactory.

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