Check out AJC’s LegislativeWatch for the latest updates for education bills in the 2015 Georgia Legislature here. Especially pay attention to SB 364 and SB 355 which have to do with reducing the percent of student growth in teacher evaluations.

I personally support SB 355 because — while the principle is a good one — until I’m convinced that the measurement system is actually a reflection of the teacher’s ability, then schools with high turnover of teachers and schools with lower-income students will be unfairly penalized.

I also am a proponent of HB 959 (School Board Speech) which ensures that board members (including school board members) can have free speech on non-confidential matters with the public.

If school board members can’t talk about issues with the group of people they represent (and teachers and principals), then that board member will have a significantly reduced sense of understanding when it comes to issues that are currently going on within schools and within communities.

While the board members are supposed to set policy (not implement it), they need to have a clear idea of the impact those policies are having in schools and communities. This bill receives my full support.

 

SB 364: Teacher evaluations

Student “growth” on tests would inform 30 percent of each teacher’s evaluation, instead of the current 50 percent, in flexibility waiver systems.

Latest status: House First Readers (Mon Feb 29 2016 05:28:23 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))

Chance of passing 67%


SB 355: Teacher evaluations

Student “growth” on tests would inform 10 percent of each teacher’s evaluation, instead of the current 50 percent.

Latest status: Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute (Mon Feb 29 2016 13:47:25 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))

Chance of passing 54%


SB 275: School board speech

Bans local rules that prohibit local elected officials from discussing nonconfidential matters in public

Latest status: House Second Readers (Wed Feb 24 2016 04:43:14 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))

Chance of passing 66%


SB 309: Athletics association

Prohibits public high schools from participation in an athletic association that prohibits religious expression on uniforms or inter-association play

Latest status: House Second Readers (Mon Feb 22 2016 05:11:29 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))

Chance of passing 61%


SR 388: Religion and public funding

Lets religious or faith-based organizations receive public funding for the provision of social services.

Latest status: Senate Passed/Adopted As Amended (Mon Feb 29 2016 12:17:41 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))


HB 740: Tax credit low achievers

Tax credit for homesteaded dwellings zoned for a school in the lowest 5 percent of academic achievement

Latest status: House Second Readers (Thu Jan 14 2016 05:28:42 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))

Chance of passing < 1%


HB 865: Tuition tax credit

Creates a $25 million tuition tax credit program restricted to students from low-income households

Latest status: House Second Readers (Tue Feb 02 2016 04:50:10 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))

Chance of passing 1%


HB 870: Athletics association

Prohibits public high schools from participation in an athletic association that prohibits religious expression on uniforms or inter-association play

Latest status: Senate Read and Referred (Thu Feb 11 2016 05:25:27 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))

Chance of passing 63%


HB 894: Developer fees

Authorizes school boards to impose development impact fees in fast-growing school zones

Latest status: House Second Readers (Mon Feb 08 2016 06:12:04 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))

Chance of passing 1%


HB 959: School board speech

Bans local rules that prohibit local elected officials from discussing nonconfidential matters in public

Latest status: Senate Read and Referred (Mon Feb 29 2016 04:57:08 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time))

Chance of passing 79%