published Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Tennessee Board of Education changes stance on licensure rules

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Board of Education has changed its stance on rules effecting the licensing of teachers.

In August, the board voted for the policy brought by the state Education Department to use student growth measured through standardized test scores, or value-added data, to determine renewing teaching licenses.

The board voted at the time to delay implementation of the new rules until 2015.

But The Tennessean reports the board voted last week to step away from the new policy. The vote was on first reading and the board is scheduled to take up the issue again in April.

Many teachers opposed the changes because they were concerned that flawed scores could cause qualified teachers to mistakenly lose their licenses.

Despite the board's new position, the Tennessee Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, says it will still push a measure this legislative session that would prevent the state from taking teachers' licenses based on "any statistical estimate utilizing standardized test scores."

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