Two teacher accountability amendments failed in the House Education Committee yesterday —GOP Rep. Skip Priest (R-30) wanted statewide teacher evaluation standards as opposed to the localized standards in the bill supported by the teachers union and the majority Democrats.

Funny footnote: On Monday, when State Schools Superintendent Randy Dorn sent out a letter advocating for Priest's amendments, I called teachers' union leader Mary Lindquist for a response. She told me  "one size doesn't fit all."

I asked her to give examples of how specific districts need customized evaluation standards. She gladly complied.  The Peninsula School District in Gig Harbor, she pointed out, prioritizes parent engagement, while the Clover Park School District in South Tacoma prioritizes classroom management when evaluating its teachers.

Here's the funny footnote:

Terry Bouck, the superintendent of Peninsula, and Debbie LeBou, the superintendent of Clover Park, both signed Dorn's letter supporting "a common, required system for effective teacher and principal evaluation."

Here's the not-funny part: Without the uniform standard, Washington state is much less likely to get any of President Obama's $4.3 billion Race to the Top grant for public schools.
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