Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen’s proposal to require up to half of teacher evaluations and tenure decisions to be based on student test scores cleared its first major legislative hurdle last week, when the Senate Education Committee voted to advance the proposal that the Democratic governor argues is vital to Tennessee’s chances of landing federal Race to the Top economic-stimulus money.
Tennessee now uses no testing data to evaluate teachers. The Tennessee Education Association had originally held out for using only up to 35 percent of student testing scores.
Under an agreement struck last week, 35 percent of evaluations will be based on value-added scores that track students’ progress on tests over time. Another 15 percent could be drawn from other data, like end-of-course assessments or Advanced Placement scores.
A version of this article appeared in the January 20, 2010 edition of Education Week as Governor’s Teacher-Evaluation Plan Clears Tenn. Education Committee