MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A legislative committee has approved a proposal to make student test scores a factor in teachers’ annual evaluations.

The bill also would extend the time it takes for teachers to obtain tenure. The Senate Education and Youth Affairs Committee approved the bill on a 5-4 vote Tuesday, and it now goes to the full Senate.

In a public hearing, some educators criticized the proposal as a return to high-stakes testing. But reform groups praised it, saying something needs to be done to push student achievement forward.

Twenty-five percent of a teacher’s annual evaluation score would come from measures of student achievement growth. The bill would also give bonuses to schools with substantial improvement.

The proposal also extends the time to obtain tenure from three to five years.

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