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Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Vicki Phillips

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June 12, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Gates backs delay in assessing teachers with Common Core tests

A California judge’s decision on Tuesday to throw out some of that state’s teacher tenure and seniority laws seemed to overshadow another piece of interesting news:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it supports a two-year delay in using the new Common Core tests to evaluate teachers, or to decide whether students should advance to the next grade.

Here’s the Washington Post story on the announcement, which has a link to a letter sent out by Vicki Phillips, the foundation’s director of education.

The foundation isn’t backing away from its strong support of the Common Core, a set of learning standards in reading and math that most states have agreed to use. In her letter, Phillips calls the Common Core “an urgent cause.”

But she also said the foundation has heard from teachers who worry that a rushed effort to use Common Core assessments in teacher evaluations “could punish teachers as they’re trying new things, and any hiccups in the assessments could be seen as flaws in the standards.”

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Comments | More in News | Topics: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, common core, Vicki Phillips