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Despite data, state supe Dorn says new evaluation system needed for teachers and principals

Courtesy Washington OSPI
State Superintendent Dorn and Principal Kelly Aramaki. Dorn says Washington's primary schools need new evaluation systems to improve teaching and leadership.

If you listen to the numbers, there's no need for any change in the way teachers and principals are evaluated in public schools here in Washington State. 

Data is in from a first-ever statewide survey about their performance. It says very few teachers are a problem: not even 500 were rated unsatisfactory in all of Washington.

That's less than three quarters of one percent (.75%) of the state's public school teachers.  And even fewer principals – only 41 of nearly 3,000 – got a bad write up.

But state superintendent Randy Dorn isn't satisfied. He says the evaluation system is outmoded and he's hearing a lot from members of the community who are concerned. For example, teachers usually know in advance when a principal will be observing their classroom.

This new survey is now required by the federal government.  All but 6 of the state's nearly 300 school districts took part.

According to the Seattle Times, last year Washington's state lawmakers passed a law requiring all school districts to overhaul teacher and principal evaluation systems by the 2013-1014 school year.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat for KNKX, where she has worked since 1999. From 2000-2012, she covered the business and labor beat. Bellamy has a deep interest in Indigenous affairs and the Salish Sea. She has a masters in journalism from Columbia University.
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