Faulk Proposes Evaluation Reform for Tennessee Teachers

State senator Mike Faulk has filed a bill that would look to reform the Tennessee teacher evaluation process by allowing high value-added student test scores to count more in the assessment, writes Rick Wagner at Times News.

Under the proposed legislation, teachers and principals with superior value-added growth data scores would have the option to use those scores to count towards half or more of their evaluations. The current regulations allow these scores to amount for between 35 to 50 percent of the total assessment.

Faulk's proposal would also see fewer classroom observation evaluations for teachers who have already scored well on student value-added assessments.

"The highest level of achievement shall permit student growth data to be up to 100 percent of the evaluation," states Senate Bill 2165.

Faulk has criticized the current system that allows students' value-added growth just 35 percent of a teacher's evaluation score, with 15 percent tied to another measure agreed upon by the teacher and their supervisor, saying that the change will "rewards results, not method."

Last year the state passed bipartisan legislation — the First to the Top Act — to create a rigorous teacher and principal evaluation system. The move was backed by unions, the business community and a wide range of education stakeholders alike.

"When it comes to improving public schools, ideas can only take us so far. It's effective implementation of those ideas that yields results," says Jocelyn Huber, director of teacher advocacy for Democrats for Education Reform.

But Huber warned:

"Watering it down or delaying its implementation would be a tremendous disservice to Tennessee's children, teachers and principals."

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