House Bill 481, “Evidence of Teacher Competency,” sponsored by Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo-19), passed the House with a party line vote, 38 to 32. HB 481 creates alternative mechanisms for advancement within the 3 tiers of licensures and compensation framework. HB 481 provides a formal process for teachers to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and ability as a teacher, that are not solely based on student test scores.
By passing HB 481, supporters say the House has taken a major step to establish an evaluation of process for advancement through the 3 tier system based on state law, not based on Public Education Department rules. HB 481 allows teachers to demonstrate their classroom ability using options that include video, audio, power points and other electronic options. After being reviewed and accepted by the PED, teachers would be able to advance to the next level in the 3 tier professional development system. Teachers are already able to advance if they have national board certification.
The debate over HB 481 was the latest bill to withstand attempts by House Republicans to substitute legislation in that has failed in committee. Representative Dennis Roch (R-Curry, Colfax, Harding, Quay, Roosevelt, San Miguel, and Union-67) attempted to substitute a bill mirroring his bill, HB 276, “Teacher Licensing & Performances Rating,” which was tabled in the House Labor and Human Resources Committee. HB 276 was backed by Governor Susana Martinez, and tied teacher advancement within the three tier licensure system to standards based test scores.
“There is more to the evaluation of a teacher than how students perform on standardized tests,” said Rep. Stapleton. “Value added models should not be used in the evaluation of teachers. I am glad HB 481 helps establish a fair method for determining the true effectiveness of teachers.”