Leaders of Tennessee teacher advocacy groups say Gov. Bill Haslam’s latest move to change the teacher evaluation systems doesn’t go far enough, according to The Tennessean.
Tennessee Education Association President Barbara Gray applauded many of the changes Haslam proposed in a policy statement earlier this week that addressed academic standards, testing and other issues that affect teachers. She said she appreciates the governor’s new emphasis on teacher input and feedback and called several changes a “step in the right direction.” (Note: Previous post, including Haslam press release, HERE.)
But Gray said the TEA still favors an outright elimination of any use of what is known as value-added data, which compares a student’s end-of-year test results to what was predicted. Tennessee’s version is known as the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System.
“We still think that the TVAAS should be eliminated from all teacher evaluations,” Gray said. “The more we look into it, the more flaws we are finding with its accuracy. It’s unfair to tie a teacher’s evaluation to an estimation, which doesn’t really measure anything.”
Instead, Haslam this week proposed rolling back the role of value-added data — it currently comprises 35 percent of a teacher’s evaluation — to 10 percent of the score beginning in 2016. It would then go back up to 20 percent by 2017 and 35 percent in 2018.
…Tennessee’s other main teacher advocacy group, Professional Educators of Tennessee, also has taken aim at the use of value-added assessments. Executive Director J.C. Bowman said he has pushed the governor in recent talks for a complete delay in using a test-based evaluation system until testing on new academic standards kicks in.
Bowman said that Haslam has proposed a one-year review of the state’s Common Core academic standards that would conclude in 2015. The outcome could potentially change what is taught and what is tested in Tennessee classrooms.
“I’d asked for a delay — a complete stop and delay,” said Bowman, who praised Haslam for at least acknowledging there’s an issue with the current system. “I just think you got to get the car fixed before you start driving it.”