NASHVILLE — The State Board of Education today unanimously approved minor changes in the state’s new teacher evaluation program.
One change is aimed at streamlining time-constrained principals’ meetings with teachers both before and after they conduct multiple personal observations of educators’ classroom performance.
Another seeks to make sure the personal observation scores don’t get out of line with other evaluation components such as student testing.
“It’s in response to feedback that we’re hearing from the field even in the early stages of implementation,” Sarah Heyburn, an Education Department policy advisor, told the board.
Teachers and principals have been complaining about the new system, which initially approved by state lawmakers in 2010 in Tennessee’s successful bid for a $500 million Race to the Top grant.
This year, lawmakers approved Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal that school districts use the evaluations to make decisions about teacher tenure.
Earlier this week, the House Education Committee heard from critics who said the process is moving too quickly and its impact on tenure should be delayed. Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman defended the new requirements, saying changes can be made as needed.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.
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, ...