Colorado bill raises stakes for teachers

TEXT OF STORY

Stacey Vanek-Smith: This week, Colorado is expected to pass a bill that links teachers' jobs to student performance. Marketplace's Eve Troeh has more.


Eve Troeh: The Colorado bill would tie a teacher's evaluation to student scores on standardized tests. If the scores are good three years in a row, the teacher can get job protection. If the scores are too low for two years, the teacher could be fired.

Aaron Pallas: It's an interesting kind of twist that the test scores have low consequences for students, but high consequences for teachers.

Aaron Pallas is a professor at Teachers College of Columbia University. He says the bill plays into a popular element of education reform: weak teachers must be cleaned out of the system.

Mike Miles is superintendant of the Harrison School District in Colorado Springs, Col. He says teachers may not be ready for the new standards.

Mike Miles: Almost everybody gets a proficient or exemplary evaluation. That's not real.

The bill is part of Colorado's bid to qualify for funds from Race to the Top, a federal grant program for schools.
It's expected to clear the legislature this week.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

About the author

Eve Troeh is News Director at WWNO-FM in New Orleans, La., helping build the first public radio news department in the station’s 40-year history. She reported for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk from 2010 to 2013.

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