Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) announced the Preparing and Rewarding Education Professionals (PREP) Act today, which would reform the process by which K-12 teachers and principals are evaluated based on the performance of their students.
The process for evaluating these education professionals would include would include student surveys, two classroom observations and student achievement growth. Local school districts will be left to decide how much weight is given to each evaluation, though student achievement growth must be worth a minimum of 25 percent.
Teachers would be ranked on a five-level scale based on their evaluations – Significantly Exceeds Expectations, Exceeds Expectations, Satisfies Expectations, Below Expectations and Significantly Below Expectations.
Additional money will be provided for teachers willing to teach in rural or failing schools in order to combat the “growing shortage of qualified teachers” in the state. Further, money will be set aside for teacher mentoring programs and to create a committee of teachers who would advise legislators on ways to implement future changes to the legislation.
While the PREP Act would not eliminate tenure, it would create a five-year track to tenure. If two evaluations find a teacher to be below expectations, the teacher could lose tenure or be directed to mandatory professional development.
“This bill shows a commitment to the education professionals in Alabama,” Marsh said in a press release. “Over the past year we have worked with anyone who would be impacted by this bill, including classroom teachers themselves, and I believe this piece of legislation reflects input from all those involved. Since 2013, this legislature has been reform minded when it comes to education policy. As a state we have made progress, but obviously there is still work to be done to ensure that our children receive the world class education that will give them an advantage in the increasingly competitive and globally based job market.”