Want to Know Your Kids’ Teachers’ Ratings? Tennessee Doesn’t Want You to…

In a classic example of cloak-and-dagger lawmaking, a Tennessee legislative committee tacked a secrecy provision onto a completely unrelated piece of legislation with no advance notice to anyone

Tennessee lawmakers want to close the door on teacher performance to parents and the media, keeping all aspects of educators’ new evaluations confidential.

A new measure is drawing praise from the state’s largest teachers union and disappointment among some observers. In a time of massive education reform, opponents say, parents and the public should get to see how it’s working.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to advance SB1447, sponsored by Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville. The bill will be heard in a House subcommittee today.

The vote came as a surprise to many. An amendment to keep teachers’ scores confidential was tacked onto a bill that would have done the same for licensure tests administered by the state Department of Commerce and Insurance.

So, let me get this straight: revamp the way teachers are evaluated, then shield the whole thing from the consumers of the education system. Yeah, that makes a TON of sense…

A nice blog post on just how deep the skullduggery went here.

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2 Responses

  1. If you think it is a good idea to post teachers’ scores publicly, then you clearly have no idea what a great education system should look like. I think it is time you do a little more homework. These so-called “evaluation” systems are extremely subjective and rely heavily on high-stakes test scores which have been proven REPEATEDLY to be an unfair measure of a teacher’s abilities. So, posting scores that are determined based on something that is an invalid measure is a BAD IDEA!!!!

    • I think that reasonable people can disagree here. I think that the taxpayers who fund these systems can certainly take all of the criticism of the evaluations into account, and indeed, can witness the inequities in the systems first-hand and push for reform, not only of the evals but of the system of education itself, better fully informed. Sorry — it’s just my DNA!

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