Utah public school teachers and administrators face an uphill climb as they prepare for evaluations being implemented in response to a law passed by the Utah Legislature in 2012 (Senate Bill 64). The legislation, crafted in collaboration with the Utah State Board of Education, the state superintendent, the Utah School Boards Association and the Utah Education Association, had nearly unanimous support from the legislative body.
Given the substantive way this law changes how Utah teachers are evaluated and dismissed, I was astonished to see a recent commentary ("This teacher/legislator says it's time to end tenure," June 22), penned by a legislator, speaking about the need to eliminate tenure in Utah. I was also shocked by a presentation given at the June Legislative Education Task Force meeting, based on outdated data, that criticized "onerous" educator dismissal laws. I have to be honest, the inaccurate and misleading information contained in both the editorial and the presentation is extremely concerning.
So, let me share some facts about teacher evaluation in Utah: