Tenn. Teacher's Union Opposes Licensure Proposal

Aug 15, 2013

Credit teateachers.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The state's largest teachers' union is challenging a proposal that would tie teacher licensure to student test data.

The Tennessee Education Association held a press conference Wednesday to voice its opposition to using the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, which measures how much students improve in a year.

Currently, professional teaching licenses are renewed for 10 years without regard to teacher effectiveness. Under the proposal, a teacher's license renewal would depend in part on Value-Added data.

TEA president Gera Summerford says teachers are concerned because of possible flaws in the data.

“We’ve seen examples of the unpredictable nature of those results and we just don’t think it’s appropriate to base teacher license decisions on those scores.

Responding to those concerns, Education Department spokeswoman Kelli Gauthier says that the licensure policy includes an appeals process to prevent loss of a license because of flawed data.

The State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the proposal Friday.