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PAGE and Education Advocacy Groups Urge Action on SB 364

Monday, March 7, 2016  
Posted by: Craig Harper
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PAGE and education advocacy organizations sent a letter to the House Education and Youth Committee members on Monday, March 7, encouraging passage of testing and educator evaluation reforms. The organizations represent 376,322 members which includes the 90,000 members of PAGE.


Letter to House Education and Youth Committee Members



March 7, 2016

House Education Committee Members:

Georgia’s 1.7 million students deserve to learn from educators who are committed to
every student’s academic progress, their development as critical thinkers, and their ability
to pursue creative expression.

Our state’s current testing and evaluation programs are a disservice to students and
educators. Overreliance on testing interferes with the delivery of quality educational
experiences to students, and the amount of testing alone takes away from instructional
time. Our children deserve opportunities for classes like music, art, and physical
education. These classes help develop the whole child, but are not easily evaluated by a

Georgia’s students also deserve to learn from experienced, high-quality educators.
Basing 70% and 50% of administrator and teacher evaluations on test scores narrows the
focus of evaluations and fails to account for many other factors that lead to successful
classrooms and school buildings. As a result, these evaluation policies are contributing to
escalating educator attrition rates in Georgia and frustrating many students and their

In an effort to help Georgia’s students and improve Georgia’s ability to recruit and retain
high-quality educators, we jointly support the student testing and educator evaluation
reforms proposed in the version of SB 364 which passed the Georgia Senate on February
26, 2016.

Though the education advocacy organizations signed here will individually submit
positions on SB 364 and may suggest small changes to the legislation, we stand together
in support of SB 364’s core reforms: rethinking student testing and de-emphasizing
testing in educator evaluation. We jointly recommend against raising the emphasis on
testing in educator performance evaluation beyond the 30 percent for teachers and 40 percent for
school leaders proposed in the version of SB 364 which passed the Senate. This iteration
of SB 364 also allows local school districts necessary latitude to build additional student
growth measures into the educator evaluation system as part of the district’s flexibility
contract, should the districts choose.

We look forward to collaborating with state leaders on meeting the needs of Georgia
students and preparing those students for a bright future. In order to do so, it is critical
that we work together to reform Georgia’s student testing and educator evaluation
programs now.


Professional Association of Georgia Educators
Georgia Association of Educators
Georgia Association of Educational Leaders
Georgia Parent Teacher Association
Georgia School Boards Association
Georgia School Superintendents Association
Teachers Rally to Advocate Georgia Insurance Choices

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