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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

Teachers may be on the hot seat

Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2009, at 6:57 AM

The Tennessee legislature will meet for a special session concerning proposed education changes, Gov. Phil Bredesen announced Tuesday.

The changes will qualify Tennessee for federal "Race to the Top" money.

According to the Associated Press, "The proposed changes include requiring teacher and principal performance evaluations to be based on data, to require tenure decisions to be made on those evaluations and to mandate annual teacher assessments."

"This is a requirement put on the table by the most liberal national administration of my adult lifetime," Bredesen said, adding he expects the Tennessee Education Associaton to complain.

But get this: State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, a Republican, supports the changes.

Political maneuvering aside (and I agree with Bredesen's "liberal" comment), good teachers deserve everything they can get and incompetent teachers need to be retrained or weeded out. Our future is at stake.


Comments
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[Show most recent comments first]

A voucher system would do the very same thing w/o costing any more money.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Dec 16, 2009, at 5:09 PM

The proposed changes include requiring teacher and principal performance evaluations to be based on data, to require tenure decisions to be made on those evaluations and to mandate annual teacher assessments."

I'm pretty sure the TEA will be against this. Imagine Teacher Evaluations based on measurable performance data. Of course the down side is the Teachers will be fighting over who gets to Teach the "Smart Kids"

-- Posted by MyMrMarty on Wed, Dec 16, 2009, at 9:21 PM

As a retiree with forty years of employment, I had a performance evaluation each year. Why should teachers not experience the same? There are lots of teachers who teach because they love the children and love the opportunity to try and make a difference. However, there are also those who teach because it's a "paycheck" with benefits and should never reach tenure.

-- Posted by reilly on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 9:43 AM

This would also be a good system for the politicans.

-- Posted by butcharnold on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 11:41 AM

As a teacher (who lives but does not teach in Bedford County), I feel a need to remark that there are a number of factors other than the teacher that impact student learning more these days. Class attendance, home life, socioeconomic and educational level of the parents, reading proficiency (of both the student when he or she enters the classroom REGARDLESS of subject AND the parents), and a host of other indicators have a huge impact on "test scores." I am evaluated almost every year by my administrators (as all public school teachers are), so this is not an issue of accountability. I have had the highest TVASS gains in my career a year before I had the lowest of my career. A year after that, my TVASS scores were back to their previous levels. Does this mean that my employers should reduce the amount I was paid for that year or fire me? I am still an effective teacher who has a fierce passion for my subject and the students who are assigned to me. I find this proposal ignorant and some of the previous comments (reilly specifically) to be ill informed. Yes, there are teachers who are just in the field for a "paycheck," but I challenge you to find one profession that does not have this type of worker in it. I worked in the business world before teaching, and I understand the frustration of some who see us as people who are tenured and then invincible. I am wondering why all of the accountability falls on teachers when we do not control the environment the child is in outside of our classroom. Who holds those people accountable? And finally, who holds the child who will not make any attempt to do anything within a classroom environment accountable?

-- Posted by mrmosier on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 2:47 PM

who holds the child who will not make any attempt to do anything within a classroom environment accountable?

-- Posted by mrmosier

You, as the teacher do!

If a child does not complete their work adequately, it is your responsibility to flunk that student until they either bring their performance up to par or leave the school.

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 3:33 PM

You, as the teacher do!

If a child does not complete their work adequately, it is your responsibility to flunk that student until they either bring their performance up to par or leave the school.

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 3:33 PM

No Child Left Behind stopped that from being a teacher's decision.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 3:46 PM

Only if the school board accepts money from the federal government. Yet another instance of government meddling where there is no constitutional authority....and the unintended consequences it brings.

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 4:43 PM

Can you name just one Public School that does not accept Federal Funds?

Do you realize what your property taxes would be if the schools in Bedford County did not receive Federal Money?

If the Public Schools are required to abide by the rules of NCLB then how is it a teachers fault if the child is pushed thru the system?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 6:05 PM

I would be willing to pay a bit more in property taxes to keep the federal government out of our local school system and I don't even have any kids.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 10:53 PM

As long as they "teach the test" there will be incompetent teachers and the good ones will be squelched.

-- Posted by countrymom on Fri, Dec 18, 2009, at 6:21 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.