Senate defeats teacher evaluation bill

OLYMPIA — The Senate has defeated a proposal that state education officials say will limit the way the state can spend about $44 million in federal dollars.

Senate Bill 5246 failed by a 28-19 vote Tuesday. It would have revised the state’s new teacher-principal evaluation system to accommodate a demand from the federal government to mandate using statewide standardized tests as a factor in evaluations.

Washington state has a waiver from provisions of the so-called No Child Left Behind law. It could lose the waiver and some federal money by only suggesting the tests be used in evaluations instead of mandating them.

Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, said she voted against the bill because using state tests to measure student growth has not been proven to be an effective way to judge teachers. She thinks a better solution can be found before the end of the legislative session to extend the waiver and keep the federal dollars coming to Washington state.

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