Alfuth notes with frustration that Haslam appears happy to support teachers in ways that don’t involve any new money.
Reducing the weight given TVAAS on a teacher’s evaluation, for example, doesn’t cost anything. Adding a few teachers to a “cabinet” to give feedback on tests is welcome change, but also doesn’t carry a price tag.
Haslam’s changes still unfairly assess teachers in non-tested subjects, in Alfuth’s view:
While reducing the percentage from 25 to 15 percent achievement data for non-EOC teachers is a step in the right direction, I don’t feel that it goes far enough. I personally think it’s unfair to use test scores from courses not taught by a teacher in their evaluation given the concerns surrounding the reliability of these data systems overall.
And, Alfuth says, the financial support teachers and schools need is simply not discussed:
Consider the teacher salary discussion we’ve been having here in Tennessee. This is something that Tennessee Teachers have been clamoring for and which the governor promised but then went back on this past spring. There’s no mention of other initiatives that would require extra funding, such as BEP2.0, which would provide millions of additional dollars to our school districts across the state and do much to help teachers. There’s also no mention of expanding training Common Core trainng, which is essential if we’re going to continue to enable teachers to be successful when the three year phase in of growth scores winds down.
In short, while the proposed changes are step forward, at least in the view of one teacher, much more can be done to truly support teachers and their students.
More on the importance of investing in teacher pay:
More on the state’s broken school funding formula, the BEP:
For more from Jon Alfuth and education issues in Memphis, follow @BluffCityEd
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport