Teacher-Evaluation Rush May Jinx Other States' Efforts
Education officials in Tennessee are taking flak from teachers and unions for rushing the implementation of a new teacher-evaluation system that will eventually undergird tenure decisions—a move, some worry, that could undermine redesigns of evaluation in other states.
Tennessee was one of two states that won the first round of the federal Race to the Top competition in March 2010. It was awarded $500 million—in no small part because the state had passed legislation two months earlier requiring that student-achievement data be linked to teacher evaluations by the 2011-12 school year.
Confined by that accelerated time schedule, the state education department did three months of field-testing with observation measures designed by the Teacher Advancement Program , or TAP, an initiative run by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based National Institute for Excellence in Teaching that employs extensive teacher evaluation. The state school board approved the measures, and the system was put in place...
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