As a candidate in the 2010 gubernatorial election, Scott Walker promised to establish a teacher evaluation system that would give bonus pay to highly rated teachers and take away teaching licenses from those judged to be ineffective for two years in a row.
His idea was to evaluate teachers on five criteria: planning and preparation, classroom environment, quality of instruction, professional responsibilities and yearly student progress.
In April 2012, the governor signed an education reform law that has a teacher evaluation provision.
Let's see how it measures up to what Walker promised.
According to the nonpartisan Legislative Council, which provides research for the Legislature, the provision required the state Department of Public Instruction to "develop an educator effectiveness evaluation system" (for principals as well as teachers).
That is under way.
For teachers, half of the total evaluation score is based on measures of student performance, including performance on state tests. The other half is based on the extent to which the teacher's practice meets the core teaching standards adopted by a national consortium of state education agencies.
The reform law also allows for school districts to come up with an equivalent process for evaluations. Teachers have to be evaluated on planning and preparation; classroom environment; instruction; and professional responsibility and development.
Beginning in the 2014-'15 school year, each school board must evaluate the effectiveness of each teacher (and principal), using either the state system or the equivalent process.
As Walker promised, a teacher evaluation process has been established and covers the criteria he outlined. However, neither the reform law nor Department of Public Instruction regulations lay out bonus pay or license revocation. We rate this promise a Compromise.