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D.C. Public Schools Will Take A Hiatus From Test-based Teacher Evaluations With Move To Common Core Exams

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Thursday that test scores will not play a part in teacher evaluations next year, a move meant to alleviate anxiety and account for unexpected complications as the city shifts to exams based on the Common Core State Standards. Principals’ evaluations also will not include scores from the new exams next year.

“I want my teachers focused on teaching and not worried about whether or not the hiccups that come with implementing a new test are going to impact their livelihood,” said Henderson, who told teachers of the change in a letter Thursday.

Data from classroom observations will take the place of test scores in teacher evaluations next year, and the school system will continue to award bonuses of up to $20,000 to high-performing teachers at low-income schools. The school system will return to using test scores in the 2015-2016 school year.