August 15, 2013 2:23 pm

Tennessee Ties Teacher Licensing to Evaluations

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800px-Indiana_State_House_2Many states have begun to tie teacher evaluations to teacher salary and tenure, a practice that is critiqued by teachers and school communities as unfair. These evaluations are poor measurements of ability, they say, as they are based on arbitrary evidence such as students’  test scores and do not take classroom practices into consideration.

While many are arguing that teacher evaluations should play a less significant role in serving teachers consequences such as decreased salary and lost tenure opportunities, some states are actually making the stakes higher in teacher evaluations. Most noticeably, this weekTennessee announced that it plans to tie teacher evaluations to certification, taking away teaching licenses from teachers whose students perform poorly on standardized tests–a practice that has been found to be unjust. The Tennessee Education Association strongly opposed the move, and protested at hearings and forums held to discuss the plan.

The plan was approved earlier this week, but critics insist that they will continue to fight the decision.