(Star News Online) Students across North Carolina will take more than two dozen new tests this year – but they’ll have more of an effect on the teachers administering them.
Called common exams, the tests will be given in any subject where there isn’t already a state-mandated exam, and they’ll be the newest part of a statewide teacher evaluation system. The common exams are courtesy of N.C.’s Race to the Top plan, and local districts will use funding from Race to the Top to pay for printing and scoring the tests.
The common exams are a new addition to the state’s teacher evaluation system, said Jenn Preston, who coordinates teacher effectiveness for N.C.’s Race to the Top plan. Before, teachers were evaluated on a five-step process that involved observations from principals and other teachers and self-evaluations. The new sixth step will measure “teachers’ individual impact on his or her students,” Preston said. It’ll mostly look at how each teacher’s students scored on common exams and state assessments and will also take schoolwide growth into account.
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