NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Senator introduces legislation to help teachers

Flickr User - Karen Apricot |

New legislation in Lansing would block a planned change in teacher evaluations.

Right now 25 percent of a teacher’s year end evaluation is based on tests of student growth. Beginning in the fall, that’s scheduled to jump to 40 percent.

Republican state senator Ken Horn has introduced legislation to stop the increase. He said student testing is not a good measure of a teacher’s success

“The M-Step for example, doesn’t test the student’s growth. It tests their proficiency in a snap shot,” he said. “It does in the 4th grade, 7th grade, 11th grade. So then how do you judge an 8th grade teacher based on a test from the 7th grade?”

Horn said changing the evaluation structure would only make it harder to find good teachers

“Teachers in Michigan are not recommending teaching to their students to their own kids. We’re gonna have a teacher shortage here if we don’t do something to attract and retain teachers,” he said. “Our teachers are so frustrated by the testing requirements, the recording requirements, they’re frustrated to tears.”

A measure to block the increased reliance on student growth failed to advance last year in the state Senate. The new legislation has sponsors from both sides of the aisle.