The past month has revealed a teacher evaluation system in Idaho that is severely flawed. Let’s hope we can all agree on a path to fixing it – in a hurry. 

Idaho’s teacher evaluation system is in a world of hurt. 

Do teacher evaluations really improve student learning? 

In December, Idaho Education News reported that an audit found that 99 percent of Idaho’s teacher evaluations were reported incorrectly, and sometimes even illegally. State schools chief Sherri Ybarra was then criticized for sitting on the report for months. 

Of course, after the audit was released it was immediately slammed as inaccurate and unfair by Idaho’s school administrators. 

Later, it was discovered that Idaho was considering hiring the very firm that did the audit to help revamp the state’s teacher evaluations system. 

But then the State Board of Education stepped in and said it would not hire that firm. 

Follow all that? 

What it all boils down to is a flawed evaluations system. 

Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle have vowed to concentrate on getting the system fixed. 

House Speaker Scott Bedke was quoted as saying, “We’ve got to stop jerking the teachers around.” 

And when teachers get jerked around it’s the students who ultimately suffer.


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