Senator Faulk files bill to allow superior value added growth data to count more in teacher evaluations
(NASHVILLE, TN) — State Senator Mike Faulk (R-Church Hill) today announced he has filed legislation to allow teachers and principals with superior value added growth data scores to choose to use those scores to comprise 50 percent or more of their evaluations. Senate Bill 2165 would change the present system where students’ value added growth is 35 percent of a teacher’s evaluation score, with another 15 percent tied to another measure agreed upon by the teacher and his/her supervisor to evaluate student achievement. Under Faulk’s proposal, the state Board of Education would adopt standards for high achievement.
The state’s teacher evaluation process was put into place as a result of the First to the Top legislation, proposed by former Governor Phil Bredesen and approved by the Legislature in January 2010. The new teacher evaluation process was designed by teachers and other education practitioners who were integral in constructing the evaluative tools. One of the biggest challenges of the new system has been identifying growth data for subjects where it is more difficult to measure achievement.
“This change in our First to the Top law will incentivize teachers to achieve high student grow – the very thing we want from our school systems,” said Senator Faulk. “High student growth is what we want in Tennessee. High student growth is what we have to have if we’re going to catch up with the rest of the Southeast. An obvious inconsistency in the current system occurs when a teacher has high student growth rates but receives only an average teacher evaluation score.”
“This change rewards results; not method,” added Faulk. “An evaluation system that has a preconceived notion as to a single proper method of teaching has to be carefully scrutinized. I doubt there is only one “right” way to teach.”
“I have listened to teachers and other education stakeholders concerning the new laws and rules on evaluation,” Faulk continued. “I know from talking with them that many are very concerned about the new system and its ability to evaluate them fairly. This legislation should help to ensure that there is fairness; and at the same time, that we still have a good system to measure teacher performance in the classroom.”