Tennessee Board Rescinds Plan to Tie Licenses to Test Data

By Stephen Sawchuk — March 28, 2014 1 min read

As teachers’ unions in Tennessee fight to reduce the weight placed on students’ standardized-test scores in teacher evaluations, they are edging closer to a victory on a related matter: certification.

Last August, the state board of education approved new regulations linking the Tennessee “value added” system, or TVAAS, to the license-renewal process. The rules, which were to have taken effect in 2015, required teachers with individual estimates generated by TVAAS to meet a certain performance threshold in order to maintain a license.

Though the board expected all but 5 percent of such teachers to clear the hurdle, the policy drew immediate opposition from the Tennessee Education Association. The union, an affiliate of the National Education Association, held several rallies to voice opposition to the new rules; groups representing administrators also expressed concerns.

Convinced by arguments that more alterations were needed, the board rescinded the policy in January. (A final withdrawal of the rules is to occur in April.)

“There was concern about the variability that occurs with TVAAS,” said B. Fielding Rolston, the chairman of the state board. “It’s a statistical process. I think it is a good process and a solid process, but it does vary from year to year.”

The board has since drafted a new framework that would instead tie license renewal to a teacher’s composite evaluation score. In that respect, the value-added information—which counts for up to 35 percent of each teacher’s overall score—would still matter. And the language includes an appeals process for teachers, Mr. Rolston said.

But the new version isn’t a go yet, either. It was pulled from consideration for the April board meeting because of pending legislation, supported by the TEA, that would prevent the state from granting, revoking, or renewing an educator’s license based on standardized-test scores.

The bill recently cleared a Senate committee by a bipartisan vote. In the House, where the measure has 80 co-sponsors, it is awaiting committee action.

Coverage of policy efforts to improve the teaching profession is supported by a grant from the Joyce Foundation. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.
A version of this article appeared in the April 02, 2014 edition of Education Week as State Board Rescinds Plan to Tie Licenses to Test Data

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

States Interactive Where Teachers Are Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Education Week is tracking plans for vaccinating K-12 educators across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
2 min read
States States Renew Efforts to Track Student Attendance as Pandemic Stretches On
With thousands of students still chronically absent from school, most states have begun to reinstate daily attendance policies.
4 min read
Image shows empty desks in a classroom.
Chris Ryan/OJO Images
States Explainer School Employees May Get Early COVID-19 Vaccinations. Here's How States Will Decide When
State and federal leaders face a host of questions in allocating the scarce vaccine even among "essential workers," like those in education.
8 min read
Illustration of medical staff administering coronavirus vaccine
RLT Images/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
States Teachers' Union Leader Nominated to Be Puerto Rico's Education Secretary
The American Federation of Teachers describes Elba Aponte Santos as "a fierce defender of public education" in Puerto Rico.
1 min read
Elba Aponte Santos
Elba Aponte Santos, the president of the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico (AMPR), an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, has been nominated to be Puerto Rico's next education secretary.
via Twitter