Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Genesis of A Firewall

A question has been raised regarding the genesis of Wisconsin's restrictive law preventing the consideration of student achievement in the evaluation of teacher performance. Well, it dates back 18 years to 1991. Section 633m of Act 269 (page 131 of the PDF file), a huge omnibus bill, put this restriction into state law. After some minor wordsmithing in Act 16 in 1993, the relevant section of Wisconsin's current statute (118.30 (2) (c)) reads:
The results of examinations administered under this section
to pupils enrolled in public schools, including charter schools,
may not be used to evaluate teacher performance, to discharge,
suspend or formally discipline a teacher or as the reason for the
nonrenewal of a teacher’s contract.
I wonder if any long-time Wisconsinites could provide background detail on how this got into legislation. That was way before my time in the Badger State. UPDATE: A reliable source tells me that this biennial budget bill is where the 8th- and 10th-grade state assessment (the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination) was established.

Also, has anyone answered the question regarding the vintage of California's alleged law that may render it ineligible for Race To The Top funding? (Never mind, this news story provides the answer: 2006. A decent year in Napa, not so much in Sonoma.)

It has been widely reported that New York's firewall preventing the consideration of student performance in teacher tenure decisions, passed in 2008, is set to expire in 2010.

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