Tennessee parents applaud Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) for vowing to create a bill to reverse the state board’s decision and “put once and for all into code that we will not use a statistical estimate to determine whether or not a teacher gets to keep their license.” (Click HERE to read more)
We also applaud Representative John Forgety (R-Athens) for sponsoring and filing HB1375 to prohibit the TN Department of Education from revoking or non-renewing an individual's license based solely on data from TVAAS, some other comparable measure of student growth, or any other single criterion. (Click HERE to see the bill and HERE to track the bill)
THIS WAS ABSURDLY WRONG:
As if to demonstrate their utter contempt for teachers, the Tennessee State Board of Education changed the licensure rules on a telephone conference call that was open to the public.
The vote was 6-3. Some board members said the change should be delayed because the changes were not well understood by the board.
Not all the board members agreed with voting to adopt a plan that had elements that concerned them, even with the delayed implementation.
Dr. Jean Anne Rogers of Murfreesboro suggested voting the proposal down and studying the issues “piece by piece” rather than implementing something that board members did not fully understand.
“I just have such serious concerns with a couple of the issues,” she said.
A dog was heard barking in the background of the call, although maybe it was a teacher howling in despair about the board’s unending attacks on teachers.
As a result of the changes approved by telephone meeting, teachers’ licenses will be tied to student test scores.
This is a strategy that has not produced better education anywhere but is guaranteed to produce teaching to the test and a narrowing of the curriculum.
It is not clear what will happen to the licenses of teachers and other staff who do not teach tested subjects.
Perhaps Tennessee will invest tens of millions to test everything.
We know who benefits. Not teachers or students. Testing corporations do.
The change in licensing rules was warmly endorsed by the Wall Street hedge fund managers’ group Democrats for Education Reform. Their members take home millions of dollars in income every year, but they don’t see why teachers need to earn more than $40,000 a year unless they raise test scores. Teachers in Tennessee earn less than the secretaries of most board members of DFER.
The above comments were written by Diane Ravitch, whose book, Reign of Error, reached the New York Times Bestseller List in 2013. Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education.
Tennessee Parents do not like what the TN Board of Education has done and continues to do. Though they use the buzz-word, "accountability," quite often in regards to our teachers, the appointed State Board of Education and the TN Commissioner of Education are not held accountable to the voters.
We wholeheartedly support legislators who support our children's teachers and, thereby, support our children.
Tennessee parents trust teachers.
We do not trust TVAAS.
We do not trust TCAP.
We do not trust the TNBOE.