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Biden vs. Trump on Education

This fall, PSEA achieved one of our top legislative priorities – con­vincing lawmakers to pass legisla­tion that removes all student achievement measures from the evalua­tion of both classroom teachers and non­teaching professionals, including the building level measure, teacher specific data, and elective data – for the 2020-21 school year.

That means evaluations for 2020-21 will be based 100 percent on observation of professional practice.

Act 136, which Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law on Nov. 25, allows edu­cators already burdened by a pandemic to focus on meeting students’ actual needs without the additional concern that their evaluations will be affected by high-stakes standardized tests.

This law was a clear win for Penn­sylvania educators, students, and schools, especially in light of the un­usual circumstances of this pandemic. And your voices played a key part in making it a reality.


Changes to evaluation system are a win

Act 136 - Key Components

• Waives the state Keystone Exam graduation requirements for students who took related subjects in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

• Waives requirement to consider student performance on standardized tests when evaluating educators in the 2020-21 school year.

• Allows the Pennsylvania Department of Education to apply to the federal government for a waiver from annual student testing requirements.

• Gives current and future educators greater flexibility navigating the state’s certification process.

• Gives paraprofessionals additional time to complete professional development requirements because of the challenges posed by the pandemic.

• Ensures that the pipeline of prospective special education teachers is not impacted by the upcoming certification change that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022, under Act 82 of 2018.