Every Thursday, Gov. Scott Walker delivers a weekly radio address. This Thursday's address was titled Encouraging Educator Effectiveness.
The state has partnered with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association to produce and distribute brief radio address once a week. Audio files and a written transcript of this radio address can be accessed on http://www.wi-broadcasters.org and http://walker.wi.gov/section.asp?linkid=1761&locid=177. To download an mp3 file you can visit http://walker.wi.gov/section.asp?linkid=1761&locid=177, right click the radio address link and click “save link as.”
Here is the transcript from this Thursday’s radio address:
As a parent with two sons in public schools, I want them to receive the very best education possible. As governor, I want this same thing for all of Wisconsin’s children. Ensuring that our kids receive a great education means making sure that our teachers receive the professional support they need and that parents and educators know how well our students are achieving.
That’s why we joined with the State Superintendent, school boards, school administrators, and the teachers unions to develop a better system to evaluate teachers. It’s the kind of constructive collaboration that doesn’t always make it to the front page of your local paper but it is important work that I am proud to support.
Teachers will be evaluated equally on their professional practice and the growth of their students from year to year. Including educator practice will encourage more constructive feedback from peers and supervisors so teachers know where they stand and how they can improve. When measuring student outcomes, the system will use multiple measures including student growth.
We will move beyond traditional merit pay models that simply hand out bonuses for good standardized test scores. Instead, it has the potential to better serve students by rewarding teachers who continually demonstrate excellence on a number of fair measures while working to support struggling teachers. I believe teachers who continually excel should be given an opportunity to earn more pay while moving up a teacher career ladder that allows for peer mentoring and other leadership roles without having to leave the classroom entirely.
The new system will be piloted in a small number of districts next school year with full implementation in the years to follow.
I’m pleased that the system we helped develop earned the praise of both the Wisconsin Education Association Council and the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin. Mary Bell, the president of WEAC, said that the educator evaluation system will improve teaching and student learning. It was also praised by School District Administrators and the School Boards Association.
I’m looking forward to seeing this new system implemented in the years ahead as we continue to improve education in Wisconsin.