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Changes Sought to State’s Teacher Evaluation System

Press Release from the State of Tennessee , Oct 31, 2011:

Commissioner Huffman Proposes Timeline Flexibility for Evaluation System

NASHVILLE — Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman announced today he will ask the state board to modify the state’s new teacher evaluation system.

The adjustment allows principals to conduct two of the required observations in succession, and thereby hold only one pre- and post-conference meeting for the combined observation. This will streamline the process and give greater scheduling flexibility to both teachers and principals.

“We have said from the beginning that we will listen and respond to feedback from educators on this evaluation model, and that is exactly what we’re doing. This adjustment made sense, and, if approved, our evaluation system will be stronger because of it,” Huffman said.

Huffman said he anticipates making additional modifications to the evaluation system next summer after reviewing data from this year’s results.

The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents recently approved a resolution supporting the state’s teacher evaluation model.

“As directors of schools, we recognize that TEAM is an effective way to improve instruction among all teachers,” said Keith Brewer, TOSS executive director. “We appreciate the commissioner’s proposal to allow our principals greater discretion and flexibility in how they implement this evaluation system.”

Huffman will present the proposed revision during a state board meeting Friday.

Board Chairman Fielding Rolston said he looked forward to discussing the proposal.

“I am glad to see the department is listening to teachers and principals regarding the implementation of this system, and making adjustments when appropriate,” Rolston said. “Our current system is much better than what we had before, and I know Commissioner Huffman is committed to continuous improvement.”

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