Effort to Tie Teacher Licensure to Test Scores Countered

Feb 20, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TNS/WMOT)  --  A bill that would prohibit basing the licensure of Tennessee teachers solely on student test scores is gaining momentum in the Tennessee General Assembly.

The legislation is sponsored by state Rep. Matthew Hill, who says test scores can be a useful tool.

"However, I do not believe that using test scores when it comes to a teacher's license, their livelihood, is the right way to go. And to use the force of government and some standardized test scores - and really what it boils down to is using a statistical estimate - to take away a teacher's career I believe is wrong."

The Educator Respect and Accountability Act is supported by the Tennessee Education Association and now has nearly 80 co-sponsors in the 99-member House. It's currently awaiting a subcommittee hearing, although the date has not yet been set.

The Tennessee Board of Education voted in favor of the policy in August, but recently changed its stance and plans to take up the issue of testing and teacher licensing when it meets again in April.