Georgia lawmakers want less pressure on teachers following stand - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Georgia lawmakers want less pressure on teachers following standardized test scores

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

 Georgia teachers and students maybe seeing big changes in the near future after the Georgia Senate passed a bill regarding education on their final night in Atlanta.

This means top teachers won't feel so much pressure from students who just don't do well on standardized tests. They are saying this will give teachers more time to dedicate to helping the students actually prepare for their tests.

"Where they feel like they deserving a high mark they may not get that because of the data that comes back from the testing,” said Savannah Federation of Teachers President Theresa Watson.

Watson is talking about the new bill that changes the way the state evaluates teachers, relieving some of the pressure from test scores that aren't as high as others.

"When their students take a test and they get those scores back, everything is data driven and because of that if the scores aren't where they need to be then the teachers are affected by it,” said Watson.

During the 2016-2017 school year, teachers will be evaluated as such: 30 percent on student growth based on scores down from 50 percent, 20 percent from professional growth and the other 50 percent from teacher evaluations and observations.

"The student assessment factor at 50 percent was just way out of line with what an educator can actually impact with students, certainly teachers do have an impact with students and they are accountable for what they teach students but there are so many other factors that go into how well a student performs on a standardized test,” said Professional Association of Georgia Educators Director of Communication Craig Harper.

Harper says his organization is happy with the bill.

The number of standardized tests for students will also decrease.

Both Watson and Harper had specific words for the governor.

"But I think he needs to be more involved in listening to teachers as to what he or she needs to be successful in the classroom and I believe there's a disconnect between the state and these local school districts,” said Watson.

"We hope the governor chooses to sign this bill as soon as possible so everyone can start making adjustments for next year,” said Harper.

Now keep in mind this bill and others that have passed are on the way to the governor's desk. Gov. Deal has until early May to go over them all and sign them into law.

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