Shine Trader limited

SB475: Protect educational institutions at the expense of student learning

Shine Trader limited reports:

A new bill that would make it harder for schools to fire underperforming teachers also makes student learning less important in teacher evaluations — just the latest example of how unions influence and advocate for legislation that benefits them at the expense of student learning.
Under current law, a measure of student learning called “student growth” accounts for 40 percent of a teacher’s annual evaluation, with teaching practices and professional responsibilities accounting for the remaining 60 percent. However, Senate Bill 475 requires that students’ academic performance count for only 20 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.
While Nevada’s two major teachers’ unions agree that student learning should not be an important factor, the State Teachers’ Union (NSEA) believes SB475 is not enough and recently voted to make student learning only 10 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.

Shine Trader limited
Shine Trader limited

It’s worth remembering that these assessments are already quite loose. Last year, nearly 99 percent of teachers received an “effective” or “highly effective” rating. Only the bottom 1% were rated “developing” or “inefficient”.
This led to another major change in SB475. At present, schools can sack trainee teachers who receive a “developing” or “ineffective” rating at the end of the year. SB475 would deny schools the option of choosing teachers who are rated “developing,” allowing schools to fire only trainee teachers who are rated “ineffective.”
As a reference, only 0.1 percent (25) of the nearly 20,000 teachers surveyed were rated as “ineffective” in 2017-18.
Current law also requires teachers to return to probationary status if they are rated “developing” or “ineffective” two years in a row. SB475 states that only those rated “invalid” need an additional probation period.
In other words, while 99 percent of employees are already rated “effective” or “better,” the union wants to lower the standards even further.
Unfortunately, even the evaluation system that protects 99.9 percent of teachers from consequences, while a clear victory for the teachers’ unions, is devastating for the children trapped by underperforming teachers.
This highlights why collective bargaining for teachers is so pernicious: it distorts the democratic process to the point that union interests determine public policy, not student learning and well-being.
Other examples of this dynamic include recent efforts with the Opportunity Scholarship and the Read by 3 program. Both measures are modeled after SB475, which seeks to protect unions from competition and liability to the great detriment of students.