Petition Closed
Petitioning PA State Leadership and 4 others

Pennsylvania Teachers Deserve Quality Feedback

1,622
Supporters

Pennsylvania teachers deserve meaningful feedback, but under the state’s current educator evaluation system—which hasn’t changed in more than 40 years—all they get is a quick observation that results in a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” check mark.

We know great teachers matter—a lot. Research shows that students assigned to great teachers can learn about three times more in one year than those assigned to the least effective teachers, regardless of socioeconomic background. But because of the current evaluation system, we don’t know who our great teachers are or where they teach. In the 2010-2011 school year, 99.5 percent of teachers received the highest rating. We aren’t rewarding our great teachers or supporting those in need of extra help, and our students are lagging behind as a result.  

Under HB 1980, districts would give teachers useful feedback by tying 50 percent of the evaluation to students’ academic progress and moving from a binary rating system (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) to one that acknowledges that teachers progress along a continuum of effectiveness as they grow and develop. The new system would build off of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s successful pilot program, the Teacher Effectiveness Project, and use the student growth data that school districts currently receive every year.

Pennsylvania already has the infrastructure in place to enact a meaningful teacher evaluation system, and thanks to the $41 million Race to the Top grant, we have a lot of the funding for it, too. The only thing the state needs now is for your legislators to hear from you. Our teachers and the students they teach are too important to go ignored for yet another year. 

Letter to
PA State Leadership
State Senator Dominic Pileggi
State Senator Joseph Scarnati
and 2 others
State Representative Mike Turzai
State Representative Samuel Smith
Pennsylvania teachers deserve meaningful feedback, but under the state’s current educator evaluation system—which hasn’t changed in more than 40 years—all they get is a quick observation that results in a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” check mark. I urge you to improve this evaluation system by doing whatever it takes to enact HB 1980 before the legislature goes on recess. Without your leadership, Pennsylvania educators will continue to teach without identifying the areas where they need to grow and improve.

We know great teachers matter—a lot. Research shows that students assigned to great teachers can learn about three times more in one year than those assigned to the least effective teachers, regardless of socioeconomic background. But because of the current evaluation system, we don’t know who our great teachers are or where they teach. In the 2010-2011 school year, for example, 99.5 percent of teachers received the highest rating. We aren’t rewarding our great teachers or supporting those in need of extra help, and our students are lagging behind as a result.

Under HB 1980, districts would give teachers useful feedback by tying 50 percent of the evaluation to students’ academic progress and moving from a binary rating system (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) to one that acknowledges that teachers progress along a continuum of effectiveness as they grow and develop. The new system would build off of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s successful pilot program, the Teacher Effectiveness Project, and use the student growth data that school districts currently receive every year.

Pennsylvania already has the infrastructure in place to enact a meaningful teacher evaluation system, and thanks to the $41 million Race to the Top grant, we have a lot of the funding for it, too. The only thing the state needs now is your leadership. Please make sure HB 1980 is enacted before the legislative recess. Our teachers and the students they teach are too important to go ignored for yet another year.