Use of student test scores will change under Haslam plan, but kinda remain the same?

In one of Gov. Bill Haslam’s key legislative proposals, the Tennessean reports that student test scores will still play largely the same role in the evaluations of certain Tennessee teachers.

Haslam’s plan changes evaluations for teachers in subjects with standardized tests, such as math and English, and those without such tests, such as kindergarten or music classes. Starting next school year, the plan calls for the new state standardized assessment, TNReady, to account for only 10 percent of a teacher’s total evaluation if that teacher is in a tested subject.

But state Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen confirmed that 35 percent of the evaluation for those teachers will still come from student test scores, as is the case now. Under Haslam’s proposal, McQueen said the remaining 25 percent would come from the teacher’s previous two years of Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program scores — known as TCAP.

“We’re not changing the calculation. It’s that the new assessment would count 10 percent of the full 35 percent,” McQueen said Tuesday after state lawmakers discussed Haslam’s proposal.

That’s a bit of a surprise for one of the state’s largest teachers’ unions. Tennessee Education Association lobbyist Jim Wrye said that his organization thought the plan would roll back the amount student test scores play in all teacher evaluations.

“What we were assuming is that tested and non-tested teachers would all have just 10 percent, and that’s what it would be based on. And so when they came out that they wanted to keep using some sort of TCAP data, that can be really problematic,” Wrye said Tuesday.