The education reform group charged with grading the state’s new teacher evaluation process is turning in its homework late.
No, the dog didn’t eat their research paper. But the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, SCORE, wanted to take more time collecting data, officials said.
“Frankly, it’s that we had some additional inputs from people across the state over the last few weeks,” said David Mansouri, SCORE’s spokesman. “We feel like this is a really important document, and we wanted to make sure all those inputs were included.”
The report was originally due out June 1, but Mansouri and the governor’s administration say to expect it June 11.
The report is the result of feedback from some 27,000 educators, parents and experts from the business community along with state and national education groups through online questionnaires, roundtable discussions and sit-down interviews, said Mansouri.
The results of the study touch the future of job evaluations for some 64,000 teachers and thousands of principals and education staff as state officials expect the report will drive revisions to the system going into the 2012-13 school year.
House Education Chairman Richard Montgomery, R-Sevierville, met with SCORE CEO Jamie Woodson on Capitol Hill Monday but declined to comment on what might be in the report, saying there could still be changes before the recommendations go public next week.
Gov. Bill Haslam asked the group and the state Department of Education in December to start evaluating the teacher grading system. DOE’s report is due out June 15.
Although SCORE was commissioned as a third party to study the system, the organization played a key role in adding the new requirements to state law books in 2010. It was one of a handful of groups that developed ideas that helped the state win a $500 million grant rewarding education reform.
Haslam told reporters last week his administration plans to take the recommendations seriously, adding that asking SCORE to evaluate the system “wasn’t just a charade.”
“I’m firmly committed to the evaluation process. And for it to work, we need to make certain that it’s the best that it can be,” he said.
Teachers and administrators have complained the evaluations are time-consuming and said there’s not a good method to grade teachers in subjects not tested by the state, like music or early education. Teachers ratcheted up their concerns after the Republican-led Legislature last year required that teachers receive above-average evaluations to earn tenure, which offers job protection.
Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman has said he doesn’t expect any surprises in his department’s review of the evaluation system.