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March 5, 2013

Feds approve S.C. teacher evaluation plan

A state plan to evaluate teachers based in part on how students improve on tests received approval from the U.S. Department of Education, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Education.

A state plan to evaluate teachers based in part on how students improve on tests received approval from the U.S. Department of Education, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Education.

The state was required to develop and implement a statewide evaluation system for teachers and principals as a requirement of receiving a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind accountability law.

To qualify for the waiver, the system must include a measure of student growth in evaluating educators.

Students' growth on test scores would account for about a third of a teacher’s evaluation. About two-thirds of a teacher's evaluation would come from observation by principals and peers, similar to how teachers currently are evaluated. Teachers would receive an A through F score at the end of the year -- a plan that is not popular among educators.

The program is currently being “beta” tested in several schools across the state. Next year, the S.C. Department of Education will implement another round of testing with hopes of implementing the program statewide in the 2014 school year.

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