Published Online: July 9, 2014

Teacher evaluation bill passes into law

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Legislation that will make evaluations for many public school teachers less frequent has passed into law without Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee's signature.

The governor took no action on a bill that changes the way teachers are evaluated. Those rated "highly effective" and "effective" will be evaluated every three years and every two years, respectively, rather than annually.

Chafee said in a message Tuesday that the new policy effectively does away with "an important and relevant annual process," because the vast majority of teachers are rated effective or highly effective. He says he worries teachers may be less motivated to participate in professional development.

Chafee notes the legislation provides for annual conferences for all tenured teachers.

The state's teachers unions had strongly opposed the annual evaluation system.

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