“We recognize the need for a waiver and are encouraged by the main request of a two-year moratorium on counting state standardized test scores in teacher and principal evaluations. It’s common sense that new, unproven, and unvalidated assessments do not belong in teacher evaluations. However, while this headline is important, the fine print requires critical scrutiny and revision to ensure that the local flexibility and autonomy guaranteed by state law is maintained.
“Developing a state-mandated, one-size-fits-all evaluation model should not be our goal, and any attempts to do so—as we see in this draft of the waiver—would fall well beyond the purview and scope of this waiver. It would also go well beyond the letter and intent of state law, which ensures that this important work would be developed through close collaboration at the local level, as it has been over the past months and years. We look forward to working with the State Board, MSDE, and other stakeholders over the next month to ensure that this waiver best positions our educators, schools, and students to be successful during this time of great transition.”