AFT MA and MTA Submit Joint Comments Critical of Proposed Revisions to Educator Evaluation

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AFT Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Teachers Associations (MTA) submitted a joint letter to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on Jan. 27, 2017, as part of the official public-comment period on the agency’s proposed revisions to the educator evaluation regulations.  
 
The joint letter was highly critical of the proposed revisions, arguing that “the commissioner’s proposals are not simply the same as the existing unsuccessful program, they are in fact more of the same and arguably worse than the existing regulations.” The letter argues that “the best approach to address the problems of the current system is to eliminate the use of student test results to inform any rating of a teacher’s performance.”
 
The Jan. 27 letter also references a previous_joint_letter from AFT MA and the MTA on the same topic, which was submitted to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Nov. 23, 2016. “Our prior comments are attached, and they remain germane,” the two organizations write in their Jan. 27 submission. 
 
The issue of how student learning results should be incorporated into an educator’s evaluation has been a fiercely debated topic for some time, with AFT MA and the MTA offering a workable and educationally sound option that was rejected by DESE, as explained in a previous news story
 
Over the coming weeks, DESE will compile and review all public comments, with the final regulatory revisions going to the Board for a vote in February or March.