by Michael Pearson, CNN
(CNN) The debate over teacher evaluations that's taken center stage in the Chicago schools strike could have major effects on the issue in the future, an education expert says.
"Chicago absolutely matters," said Elena Silva, senior associate for public policy engagement at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
"I think what happens here will substantially matter for what we see happen with teacher evaluations nationwide," she said.
In the last three years, 21 states have passed have legislation or implemented new regulations designed to highlight teacher accountability, according to a report by Bellwether Education Partners, a consulting firm.
The changes came often by way of the kind of standardized testing that one Chicago Teachers Union board member referred to as "data-driven madness."
In many - but not all - cases, the reforms were hotly contested, with teachers unions saying the changes put jobs at risk without enough evidence they would work in the way both sides say reforms should work - helping students learn, said Sara Mead, a Bellwether analyst who tracks teacher effectiveness policy nationwide.FULL STORY