Tennessee Board Of Education Reverses Course On Teacher Licenses

Feb 3, 2014

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In a compromise that seemed to satisfy both the state teachers' union and political leaders, the Tennessee Board of Education on Friday decided to change a policy that had tied teacher licensing to gains made in student testing.

That policy, adopted last August, made the results of Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) tests the determining factor in whether a teacher's license could be revoked for poor performance. The Tennessee Education Association contended TVAAS scores contain margins of error that could mean teacher licenses would be unfairly jeopardized.

The board of education said it would re-write the criteria in April, giving greater weight to teacher evaluations in deciding the fate of an educator's license.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman supported the policy adopted in August, but said Friday's adjustment represented an appropriate step as education reforms are tweaked. He also pointed out that since TVAAS results contribute to teacher evaluation scores, they'll still play some role in whether or not an educator is qualified to teach in the state.

The debate over the role of TVAAS testing is still unfolding. Some local districts plan to use the scores to award bonuses, according to the Nashville Tennessean.