Commentary: Grading the Teachers on Student Performance

Commentary: Grading the Teachers on Student Performance

A promising new bill introduced into the Louisiana State Legislature aims to hold public school teachers accountable for classroom progress. House Bill 1033 (introduced by Rep. Frank Hoffman) “would require annual evaluations for teachers starting in the fall of 2011, and pave the way for their dismissal if they fail repeated reviews.”

If properly implemented and enforced, the bill would reward good teachers and make it easier to remove the bad ones. One suspects that the proposed bill will be anathema to teachers unions and school boards, who often worry more about keeping their jobs than performing them.

In his blog, Between the Lines, Jeffrey Sadow offers a compelling take on the new bill, with additional proposed additions to enhance its impact. As Mr. Sadow points out, this proposal shares similarities reforms passed in Massachusetts in the 1990s. These reforms helped spur Massachusetts’ public education system into one of the nation’s best. On that note, the Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about how Massachusetts public education is being compromised by Washington.

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