Education Board approves teacher licensure changes - WSMV Channel 4

Education Board approves teacher licensure changes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Board of Education has voted to approve contentious new rules on teacher licensure while delaying their implementation until 2015.

Many teachers oppose the changes because they tie licenses to student test data.

The Tennessee Education Association held a press conference on Wednesday to say it opposed incorporating the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (or TVAAS) data into license requirements.

Education association president Gera Summerford said teachers are concerned that flawed scores could cause qualified teachers to mistakenly lose their licenses, although the education department says there will be a way to appeal.

Currently, professional teaching licenses are renewed for 10 years without regard to effectiveness.

Under the proposal approved on Friday, a renewal would depend on 50 percent of value-added data. Teacher evaluation and tenure status currently rely on 35 percent of student test data.

At the board meeting, Chairman Fielding Rolston acknowledged that people disagree with the changes. He proposed approving the changes in order to give stakeholders an idea of the direction the board wants to go but delaying their implementation in order to give the board time to hear concerns and make changes.

Several board members opposed Rolston's motion, saying they did not want to vote for a policy that contained elements they did not support.

Board member Janet Ayers said she was concerned about tying value-added data to licensure because the evaluations are still relatively new.

After extended discussion, the motion passed 6-3.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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