Tennessee’s new teacher evaluation system has hit an unexpected snag.
With teacher tenure and job retention riding on a top score, Williamson County is banning student teachers from working in high school subjects where there are statewide end-of-course exams. The district is also suggesting individual principals not allow them in grades 3-8, or, if they do, not turn over the classroom until after standardized tests.
Even though they’re not under formal policies, other principals and teachers statewide who formerly volunteered to take student teachers are backing off, too.
They say they don’t have time to mess with mentoring, or they fear the process could affect students’ test scores, college of education officials at Vanderbilt and Belmont universities said.
“It’s nothing but the teacher evaluation system that’s got them tied up in knots,” said James Stamper, director of student teaching for Belmont University. “We all had to have somewhere to start.”
Williamson County Schools can’t risk interference for teachers when 35 percent of their evaluations are based on student learning gains on standardized tests, said spokeswoman Carol Birdsong. “It’s your classroom, and you are being evaluated based on your students’ performance.” ...
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Tennessee Districts Snub Student Teachers
This from the Tennessean: