Change in law will allow districts to choose to focus on the practice of teaching in evaluation

A new law, LD 92, signed by Governor Janet Mills today brings a major change to the teacher evaluation process, eliminating the mandate that standardized test scores and student growth measures be a component of the process. Research shows the results of standardized tests don’t reflect the quality of teaching.

“LD 92 will benefit both teachers and students. The new law highlights the commitment from our lawmakers and the Governor in improving the practice of teaching, so our educators can be the best for our students. Teachers deserve a fair evaluation process, one that helps them learn and grow; this new law allows for that to happen while giving teachers a voice in the process,” said Grace Leavitt, President of the MEA.

Teachers evaluations, under the new law, can now be based entirely on standards of professional practice. In addition, the law requires school districts to construct a steering committee that regularly reviews and refines the performance evaluation process to ensure it is fair and beneficial to the teacher. Several stakeholders will be on that committee, but the majority of members, according to law, must be teachers appointed by the local MEA association. Any decisions made by the committee must be reached by consensus. This provision allows educators to have a much greater voice in the evaluation process.

“The Maine Education Association has heard for years from its members about the evaluation process and its need for change. This change in law truly highlights the value and knowledge of our teachers. MEA is grateful to Governor Mills for signing this measure into law today, and for continuing to focus on supporting our public schools,” added Leavitt.