Teachers’ Union Embraces Evaluations

America's largest teachers’ union said Monday that student learning must be considered as a factor in teacher evaluations, a radical policy shift for a group that has long maintained the opposite. In passing the new policy, the 3.2 million-member National Education Association hopes to be able to take control of the debate about holding teachers accountable for student performance—a discussion it has long refused to take part in. Despite the policy change, Barbara Pringle, the secretary-treasurer of the union, insisted the NEA is “and always will be opposed to high-stakes, test-driven evaluations.” The union also voted by secret ballot Monday to endorse President Obama for reelection, despite challenging the Obama administration’s effort to use standardized tests to measure teachers’ accountability. The NEA’s new policy calls for teacher practice, teacher collaboration between schools, and student learning to be used in teacher evaluations.