Tennessee’s TVAAS Not to Be Tied to Teacher Licensure

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Victory in the state of Tennessee. The state board of education “stepped away” from its policy requiring that learning gains (i.e., value-added as determined by its TVAAS system) serve as the overriding factor in whether teachers can work (i.e., can be licensed) in the state of Tennessee. To read the article in The Tennessean click here, and to see the announcement put out by the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) click here):

As per the latter announcement, the state board of education voted this past Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, to “rescind the portion of the licensure policy that would use TVAAS as a factor in license renewal and advancement.” While this “does not affect the entire [TVAAS-based] policy the board voted on in August of last year,” the vote to rescind the use of TVAAS for just this purpose is a victory for teachers in Tennessee.

This all came after TEA President Gera Summerford and General Counsel Rick Colbert shared with the board a presentation titled: “The Trouble with TVAAS.” I believe some of what was shared (albeit likely in condensed form) can be found in three parts on YouTube: Part I (30 minutes), Part II (11 minutes), and Part III (14 minutes).

Their next step? Passing the “Educator Respect and Accountability Act of 2014,” which would “prohibit [more generally] the use of standardized test scores in the renewal or advancement of teacher licenses.”

Reformers reactions? They “downplayed the vote, characterizing it as a small and appropriate tweak before the policy takes effect in 2015.” All else is still in progress, as per the aforementioned article in The Tennessean. “Tennessee is moving forward with other ways to use the scores….[and d]istricts must submit their pay plans to the state for approval by this spring.”

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