Polehanki Bill Still Eliminates Student Performance from Educator Evaluations

Comments:0 Comments

Whitmer Staff Tells Committee Governor Won’t Support Bill – Now Amendments Make It Even Worse

Great Lakes Education Project Executive Director Beth DeShone today asked
lawmakers to slam the breaks on a disastrous bill advanced by the state Senate that would remove student performance from the list of factors used to determine how educators are performing in the classroom.

Senate Bill 395 eliminates student performance as a component of educator evaluations and inserts evaluations into the collective bargaining process between districts and unions. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Dayna Polehanki, was amended late last week after Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent word to the Senate she wouldn’t sign it.

The amendments actually make the bill worse. Among the changes, the bill now:

  • Allows teacher unions to eliminate student growth as a factor in educator evaluations during contract negotiations,
  • Weakens decade-old tenure reforms to make it nearly impossible to remove bad teachers from the classroom,
  • Removes the state requirement that teacher evaluations include unscheduled classroom observation,
  • Redefines “unprofessional conduct” in state law to make it easier for misconduct to not be reported in a background check.

    “Danya Polehanki’s anti-student bill is so bad even Gretchen Whitmer says she won’t sign it,” said DeShone. “Our kids deserve safe classrooms and the best teachers. Polehanki is determined to strip away student protections. I strongly encourage the House Education committee to pause any activity on this bill.”

    The Great Lakes Education Project is a bi-partisan, non-profit advocacy organization supporting quality choices in public education for all Michigan students. GLEP strongly supports efforts to improve academic achievement, increase accountability and empower parental choice in our schools.