Wash. teacher evaluation bills come back to life

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Two proposals to change the way Washington state evaluates teachers are back in play in Olympia after being blocked last week by the statehouse education committee chairs.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee heard two new teacher evaluation bills on Tuesday afternoon, and voted to advance both bills Tuesday evening. Senate Bills 5895 and 5896 are very similar to proposals that did not make it out of either the Senate or House education committees.

Senate Bill 5895 is supported by the governor, the teachers union, school principals and administrators. It would continue the work started two years ago to revamp state teacher evaluations and spend money on training evaluators.

The other bill is supported by education reform and business groups and would require districts to use student test scores as a factor in teacher evaluations.