I support that Washington state resisted political pressure from the USDE to require the use of state tests in teacher evaluation. My reasoning, among other points, included that the coming Smarter-Balanced tests based on Common Core State Standards were yet to be explored and fully understood by teachers, students, and school systems.
The Gates Foundation is now communicating a similar idea–to wait at least two years before using state test scores in teacher evaluations.
What I think is funny: When discussing the USDE's opposition to the call for a moratorium in using test scores in teacher evaluation, Dorie Nolt, spokeswoman for the USDE stated “We believe the most thoughtful approach is to work state-by-state to see what support each state will need, and not to stop the progress states have already made, or slow down states and educators that have been working hard and want to move forward” (from the article linked above).
What we in Washington state need, the progress we have already made, and the hard work we have done to move forward does not seem to have been considered when our NCLB waiver was revoked.
And still, more and more research is coming forward questioning the actual impact a teacher has on standardized test scores. (My one worry: that this can get misinterpreted as "teachers do not impact student learning," thus further demeaning the impact that teachers have beyond what broad standardized tests are able to assess. These tests, by virtue of their intention toward universality, can only with validity assess the lowest end of cognition such as identification and recall, but cannot reliably explore analysis and synthesis.)
If nothing else, the call for a two year moratorium is a small-scale version of the Number One thing schools are rarely given but most critically need to enact meaningful change and reform: TIME.