Local News Politics

House Education Chairman Carl Rollins, D-Midway, is once again trying to reform how Kentucky’s teachers are evaluated.

The latest incarnation of Rollins’ idea is House Bill 40, which the committee passed Tuesday morning. The legislation would create a statewide teacher evaluation system run by the state Department of Education starting in the 2013 school year.

Currently, each school district has its own evaluation system for teachers, who have pushed back against the bill. But Rollins says his intent isn’t to hurt teachers.

“And the purpose of this is to create a system that promotes continuous professional growth of our teachers, so that they can become better,” Rollins said. “We want to identify those things that will make our teachers better. This is not punitive, this is to make everyone know and have a better idea of what they need to do to improve their teaching skills.”

The bill also allows for student performance to be factored into teacher evaluations, something teacher unions have fought against.

“Now, the real challenge comes in is how you weigh that part of it,” Rollins said. “So it should be part of the evaluation system, but it, I think it, I would probably argue that it shouldn’t be more than 30 percent of the evaluation, the overall evaluation. Some people would like to see that much higher.”

Under the bill, teachers would also be evaluated by peers in their same subject field. Student and parent feedback forms would be part of the process as well.

But the evaluations won’t be annual, Rollins said.