This year, teachers in Tennessee who teach in subjects that take state standardized tests (TNReady) will see the quantitative portion of their evaluation increase by 10%.
Previously, TNReady scores in tested subjects counted for 35% of a teacher’s evaluation score and “other achievement measures” accounted for 15%. The remaining 50% came from observation scores.
Under the new law and updated State Board of Education policy, “other achievement measures” will now account for 25% of a teacher’s evaluation. TNReady will still count for 35%. Observation scores are reduced to 40%.
Other achievement measures include items like ACT scores.
TNReady is a notoriously unreliable measure of both student achievement and teacher performance. In fact, the test is not even designed to evaluate teacher performance. Additionally, the value-added model used to assess teacher impact has repeatedly been called into question in terms of its validity.
It’s also noteworthy that just as more colleges are dropping standardized test scores from admissions requirements, Tennessee is placing stronger emphasis on them in teacher evaluation.
The disconnect between Tennessee education policy and reality continues to grow.
The Tennessee Education Association has noted its opposition to the move:
“We know that test scores have never been a valid measure of teacher effect and that our kids are more than a score,” said TEA President Tanya Coats. “TEA wholly disagrees with the state’s continued push to increase its reliance on test data over other methods of evaluation like observations that are more meaningful in improving our practice as educators.”
The move also comes as Tennessee is experiencing a teacher shortage:
For more on education policy and politics in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport