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Sep 14, 2012 8:28 PM by Erika Flores

Teachers question new evaluation standards

TUCSON-Arizona teachers face new evaluation standards based in part on student test scores.

It's an issue that's keeping teachers in Chicago on the picket lines, and now districts here in Arizona are getting ready to implement the changes.

Amphitheater Unified School District has always had a teacher evaluation in place, but there are several big changes that are being added to comply with House Bill 2823.

"We're going to know very detailed information about how well teachers are performing and the impact that they're having on the kids, and of course that's all intended to improve the benefit they're providing the kids," said Todd Jaeger, associate to the Amphitheater USD superintendent.

Student achievement data for example, AIMS results, will be 33 to 50 percent of teachers' evaluations.

The data will also be used to determine salary.

Amphitheater Unified School District said in addition, they will be looking at teachers' content knowledge, planning and preparation, but the biggest portion of the evaluation is based on student achievement.

"As a teacher with over thirty years experience, I feel that if you're a teacher and you're doing your job to the best of your ability, you shouldn't be worried about it," said Nash Elementary Teacher Karen Rakowitz. "But then considering the neighborhood we're in and our children, sometimes we get children that are difficult to teach or they're not on grade level, and we have questions. How is that going to be evaluated?"

Rakowitz said teachers have had several meetings with the school to discuss their concerns, but since schools haven't implemented the changes yet, questions still linger.

Rakowitz said she's hopeful in the end, everything will turn out okay.

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