By KATHY TAYLOR
Oklahoma Chief of Education Strategy and Innovation
What is the most important thing that we can do to close the achievement gap in Oklahoma, and guarantee that all children graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers? Research shows that a great teacher in every classroom and a great principal in every school will make the most impact. Oklahoma recently made tremendous strides in making this a reality, with the passage of Senate Bill 2033. SB 2033 is an education reform bill that ties teacher and principal evaluations in part to student academic growth, increases the cap on teacher incentive pay and creates new tools for turning around failing schools.
The bill was co-authored by President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, and Speaker of the House Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, and was signed into law by Governor Brad Henry. It was a priority for Governor Henry and the legislative leadership, and is the result of a bi-partisan, collaborative effort that engaged major education, philanthropic and business stakeholders.
The measure requires that the State develop and implement the Oklahoma Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Evaluation System (). includes a five-tier rating system, annual evaluations that measure effectiveness and provide feedback to improve student learning, remediation plans and instructional coaching for teachers who need it and other measures to ensure student performance success. The bill also allows districts to adopt a salary schedule that provides additional compensation for high ratings under .
SB 2033 also creates the Oklahoma Race to the Top Commission, to provide oversight and advice to the State Board of Education on the development and implementation of the and ensure that the is implemented with validity.
Teachers and leaders make the difference in education. Oklahoma has set the stage to maximize their impact!