This Washington

Education Reformers Nervously Look to State House

By Josh Feit February 19, 2010

This post has been updated with comments from Rep. Skip Priest (R-30).

Education activists were disappointed when the state Senate passed an education reform bill without two amendments that would have strengthened Washington's play for federal Race to the Top grants. Now they're waiting to see if the House will put the amendments back in.

The failed amendments, proposed by Sen. Curtis King (R-14), would have directed the state school superintendent’s office—rather than each school district—to establish a uniform evaluation system for teachers, including the use of “comparable and objective” data on student achievement.

Here's some more bad news for reformers. When the House was working on its own version of the bill back in early February, Rep. Skip Priest (R-30) offered up a similar amendment (about using objective data) and it failed.

The House version was eventually dropped and the Senate bill, now in the House, is the main reform bill. Rep. Priest tells PubliCola he is reintroducing the failed amendment and one that would establish a uniform evaluation system.

In addition to Priest, PubliCola has talked to House leaders on education reform, Reps. Pat Sullivan (D-47), Marcie Maxwell (D-41), and Ross Hunter (D-48). None of them have indicated if they support the amendments.

We also have several calls into Rep. Tina Orwall (D-33), the Democratic lead on the bill.
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