A (State) Government Proposal

…behind which I could get (sorry.  My mother was an English teacher of the old school, and knuckle raps are hard to forget).

Tennessee has decided not to consider student performance only when assessing teacher compensation; they’ve decided to use student performance also in determining whether teachers will be allowed to continue to teach.  Last week they decided to

pull the license of teachers whose students consistently fail to improve.

“This is not about taking away teacher licenses, but about making sure our students have the best classroom teachers,” said Kevin Huffman, the state’s education commissioner.

The move also is proactive: the policy requires teachers to show they are boosting student achievement rather than requiring the state to show they are not.  If the teachers cannot demonstrate student improvement—if the teachers cannot demonstrate actual performance—they would lose their teaching licenses.  This places the burden of proof is where it belongs, a good innovation.

The teachers union in Tennessee, the Tennessee Education Association, claims not to oppose holding its members to performance standards, but….

[T]he current plan gives too much weight to the state’s measure of student growth, which she described as “complicated and problematic.”

Here’s the groundwork being laid for the excuse generation wave as the standards are begun to be upheld, which will begin with the 2015 school year.

How strongly will the union actually oppose this move?  With the excuses already starting, the union attitude will be problematical.  We’ll see in the realization, though, how strongly the unions are invested in student performance as opposed to perks for the teachers—and for union leadership.

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