Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill No. 5895 on March 8, which provides a new model for teacher and principal evaluations to further education reform in Washington public schools.


Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill No. 5895 on March 8, which provides a new model for teacher and principal evaluations to further education reform in Washington public schools.

Gregoire explained that the new evaluation system aims to clear standards of proficiency. Parents will have the confidence to know who teach their children and run the schools.

“The old system just didn’t work. It was too broad and didn’t really help anybody,” Gregoire said. “For the first time, Washington public school teachers and principals will be able to know exactly what is required of them.”

The new legislation implements a four-tier rating system including unsatisfactory, basic, proficient and distinguished. All school districts must begin implementing the new evaluation system no later than the 2013-14 school year and complete implementation two year later. Once implemented, experienced teachers or principals with more than five years of experience, who are rated in the ‘basic’ level for two years in a row will have to move up to ‘proficient’ to keep their job. New teachers must reach the “basic” level before they can move from provisional status to continuing-contract status.

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