Rep. Shumate to serve on Race to the Top Commission

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 15-Jul-2010

State Rep. Jabar Shumate was appointed today (Thursday, July 15) by Democratic Leader Danny Morgan to serve on the Oklahoma Race to the Top Commission.

Rep. Shumate, a Tulsa Democrat, will be one of only two House legislators to serve on the 19-member commission, which was created to provide oversight and advise the State Board of Education on the development and implementation of the Oklahoma Teacher and Leader Effectiveness and Evaluation System. The commission is also charged with monitoring the flow of federal Race to the Top program funds.

“Given Rep. Shumate’s experience and background I think he is an excellent choice to serve in this extremely important capacity,” stated Rep. Morgan, who represents the Prague area at the state Capitol. “I am confident he will be a valuable member of this commission.”

New law was adopted this session to authorize school districts to establish incentive pay programs for teachers and leaders. Teacher and leader performance is to be measured using the Oklahoma Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Evaluation System. Awards are to be based upon achieving certain ratings within the system and grade level, subject area or school level performance success. In addition, districts are required to use the evaluation system as the primary means for determining retention or reassignment of teachers and administrators during reductions in force.

Districts are given the option to develop additional performance pay plans to provide incentives for teachers and administrators in critical shortage areas, low-performing schools or hard-to staff districts.

“I am very proud of the privilege and opportunity to serve on this commission, and I thank Leader Morgan for selecting me for this important position,” Rep. Shumate said, in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK.

Shumate, the elected chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, concluded, “Education has always been one of my primary concerns, and right now preparing our children for success in college and the workforce is one of the most urgent challenges we face. I am more than happy to give my time and attention to serve my state and our future generation with this commission appointment.”