published Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Bill banning use of student growth data to decide teacher licensure goes to TN Gov. Bill Haslam

NASHVILLE — A bill requiring Gov. Bill Haslam to reverse course on tying teacher licensure to student learning gains is now on its way to the governor's desk for consideration.

The House Monday night took final action on the bill, sponsored by Rep. John Fogerty, R-Athens, approving it on an 88-0 vote. Senators approved the bill last week.

It bars the State Board of Education from using the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System, which measures students' growth, to make licensure decisions regarding teachers.

Teachers' groups pushed the bill in the wake of last year's move by the State Board of Education, which approved a recommendation by Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman to link licensure removal to TVASS data.

The board later delayed implementation.

Huffman has said tying the scores to TVASS makes sense since parents have no way of knowing how well a teacher performs. That's because current law prohibits disclosure of what gains students are making under individual teachers

The information is only released for school systems and individual schools.

But there has been huge blowback from teachers, who fear their livelihoods would depend on student growth results they don't entirely trust.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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