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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Some Performance Data to be Kept Confidential

State Senators have approved a measure that seeks to keep some teacher evaluation data private. House Bill 1030 keeps individual teacher, principal and other school employee’s performance appraisals confidential. Senator David Omdahl opposes the bill.

“I rise in opposition to this bill because it stifles transparency in the education system. Parents should be able to monitor who’s teaching their kids and what they’re teaching. Why special exemptions for educators who are in charge of our children should have special favors, I don’t understand that. No one likes scrutiny, I don’t care if you’re in the public or private sector, but scrutiny is essential in performance,” Omdahl says.

Proponents of the bill say some conversations during evaluations are private and should be kept that way. They say the Department of Education will still collect aggregate data to show performance outcomes, just not personnel information. Parents will still have the ability to discuss concerns with principals or school boards.

The legislation heads to the Governor’s desk after passing the full Senate 31 to 4.