Bill passed to scrutinize teacher evaluations

A state panel would recommend changes in how public school teachers are evaluated under a bill approved Wednesday in the House Education Committee.

The proposal is House Bill 415 by state Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe.

It next faces action on the House floor.

Hoffmann was the key sponsor of a 2010 state law that links teacher job reviews to the growth of student achievement.

A 2012 state law ties those evaluations to a form of job security called tenure.

Backers say the changes will improve student achievement by improving teacher quality.

Critics say the new rules are flawed, in part because of the variables involved in student classroom performance.

Hoffmann said the reviews are a good thing.

“We just have to make sure it is working properly,” he said.

The legislation would re-start a commission of educators and others that has worked on teacher evaluations previously.

The first meeting would be no later than Sept. 30 if the measure becomes law.

The commission would then be required to submit reports at least 60 days before the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions for possible changes in teacher reviews.