State Senator Rusty Crowe of Johnson City recently penned a column directly addressing his disappointment in the State Board of Education’s decision to link teacher licensing to student test scores.
Crowe suggests that using value-added data to inform teaching practice and even as a portion of a teacher’s evaluation is appropriate. But using it to take away a teacher’s license is not acceptable.
Crowe concludes his piece by noting that he expects some level of legislative intervention in the matter. Hardly an idle threat given that Crowe is a long-time member of the Senate Education Committee — the very committee that oversees State Board of Education action.
A simple, straightforward legislative intervention might be worded in such a way as to prohibit the Tennessee State Board of Education from enacting any policy that would cause a teacher to lose his/her license on the basis of student test scores. Of course, it may have to repeal any such policy previously enacted, but since the testing proposal doesn’t take effect until 2015, it may be sufficient to prevent its implementation.
While teachers have been under attack by state policymakers for several years now, it seems in this case, the State Board may have gone a step too far. At the very least, there’s sure to be legislative discussion around this issue in 2014.