18 May 2010

Results Mixed for Manchin's Education Agenda

The House and Senate hold sharply different views of the school-related measures proposed by Gov. Joe Manchin as part of the ongoing special legislative session, The Associated Press reports.

The Senate has approved the governor's call for more frequent educator evaluations; Manchin proposed annual reviews, while the Senate amended that to make at least that often.

Senators also passed a version of the bill that would step up efforts to address low-performing schools. But the House scuttled its bill on the topic in its Education Committee, which has also gutted the House version of the evaluation bill, AP reports.

The article also observes that lawmakers in both chambers share some of the same concerns about the value, cost and effect of some of these measures.

AP follows up by focusing on the mixed results. "The Senate Education Committee has so far endorsed all but one of the eight school measures," that article said, and plans to take up the final item Tuesday.

Those advancing measures include Manchin's proposed merit pay increases for educators. "The committee on Monday doubled to $2,000 the salary boosts for teachers and principals assigned to high-poverty and high-minority schools," AP reports. "It increased tenfold, to $5,000, the pay raises for educators in those schools teaching math and science."

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