Jackie Zeigler is a 37-year veteran of education who faces incumbent Matt Brown for the state board of education seat for district one on April 12.  She lead Brown by 9,000 votes in the primary and won both Baldwin (Brown’s home county) and Mobile (her home county).

She has released a statement taking a strong stand against the proposed RAISE/PREP bill that passed out of a senate committee on March 8 with a 5-4 vote.

I do not believe that Montgomery politicians should be developing plans for teacher evaluations. That job should be done by your state school board – with input from all stakeholders – teachers, principals, and families of students,” said Zeigler.
“The legislature is using a VAM, a Value Added Model. This approach is taken from manufacturing and is not appropriate. VAM assumes all products are uniform. Students are not widgets and this approach should not be used.
“The PREP Act requires that a minimum of 25% of teacher evaluations be based on standardized test scores. This will cause more teaching to the test.
“This badly-designed method of evaluation will put teachers at the mercy of factors not within their control. What happens when a student has family problems or illness? 
“I ask all friends of education to contact their state legislators. Ask them to just vote no on SB 316, the PREP Act. I do not think the legislature can fix the bill, and I believe that the State Department of Education or the State School Board could better facilitate designing an evaluation system.”

To my knowledge, incumbent Brown has not stated his position on RAISE/PREP.  However, given the fact that he received $54,000 from the Business Council of Alabama for his primary campaign and that BCA CEO Billy Canary spoke in favor of the bill at the March 8 hearing, one has to assume that that Brown supports the BCA position–instead of supporting educators.  This bill has received a tremendous amount of attention from the education community, almost all of whom are opposed.

The seven counties in the district one runoff April 12th are: Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh, Butler, Crenshaw and Covington.