New Hampshire has never liked the idea of linking test results to high-stakes for teachers. Although each school board makes its own teacher evaluation plan, state policy (developed together with the superintendents, teachers and unions) is that framework of multiple measures of teaching effectiveness applied to groups of teachers is more effective and fair than punitive teacher evaluation strategies.
But, with the strong support of the U.S. Education Department, many states have begun using “value added” statistical procedures to reward and punish teachers. Now the tide may be turning. USED seems unsure about the whole issue. The department did, after all, approve the NH low-stakes plan – after persistent negotiation by NHDOE. However, Washington state, which negotiated an earlier waiver with a state-wide evaluation and now wants to leave teacher evaluation to the school districts, as NH does, finds that USED does not agree.
But New York has dramatically back down from its high-stakes testing plan. And, now, Tennessee – a poster child for federal education reform policies and the birthplace of the value added statistical model – is having second thoughts about the whole idea:
Legislation to block student learning gains from playing a role in teacher licensing decisions is steamrolling to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk as lawmakers ask him to undo one of his administration’s most contested education policies.
The Tennessee House of Representatives voted 88-0 on Monday night to approve House Bill 1375, sponsored by Republican John Forgety, which would prohibit license decisions from being based on student growth data compiled from the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System.
The Senate version, Senate Bill 2240, passed by a 26-6 vote last week.
The proposal came in response to the State Board of Education adopting a new policy last summer — at Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman’s recommendation — that would link license renewal and advancement to a teacher’s composite evaluation score as well as the TVAAS.
read the rest at Lawmakers block linking student gains, teacher licenses.