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Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC) released a statement today regarding the Senate Education Committee hearing on teacher effectiveness and teacher evaluation and the Committee’s plan to take action next week on SB 1087, introduced by Sen. Jeff Piccola and Sen. Andrew Dinniman. SB 1087 directs the Pennsylvania Department of Education to include student performance as a component of teacher evaluation and to advance a process to develop appropriate measurement tools.

An improved teacher evaluation system is a core component of a strong teacher effectiveness model.  An improved evaluation model coupled with incentives to ensure the most highly effective teachers serve the highest-needs students; expanded and improved teacher induction and mentoring programs; and, strong career pathways are the steps to assuring that every child benefits from an effective teacher.

PPC supports SB 1087 and believes that student performance should be included as part of a set of multiple measures to evaluate teachers. Most teacher evaluations are currently based on limited classroom observation and result in merely a satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating and do not link student performance with a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom.

An effective teacher is the most important school-based factor influencing school achievement and one of the missing links in assuring that every child learns at least a year’s worth of knowledge for every year spent in the classroom, from kindergarten through high school.

“Every child deserves an effective teacher who prepares him or her to one day graduate ready for the rigors of college and career,” said Joan L. Benso, president and CEO, PA Partnerships for Children. “We applaud Governor Corbett, Sen. Piccola and Sen. Dinniman and other members of the Senate Education Committee for advancing this dialogue and their commitment to making this a priority. The Department of Education’s pilot coupled with the learning from the Pittsburgh Public Schools provides an excellent foundation for this work.  We are fully committed to lending our support to advance this important agenda.”

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children released a paper on teacher effectiveness in 2010.

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