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Tennessee May Back Off Policy Tying License Renewals to Test Scores

Tennessee's board of education appears poised to eliminate a policy requiring that, by 2015, teachers' licensing renewals hinge partly on evidence that they've boosted students' test scores, reports The Tennessean.

The policy was approved just six months ago in August. But at a recent board meeting, it issued a new draft that would get rid of the policy altogether. It plans to take up the issue in April, the newspaper reported.

Recertification would still require teachers to pass their annual evaluations, which already take test scores into account, according to Kevin Huffman, the state's education commissioner 

The Tennessee Education Association has been adamantly opposed to the policy, and is supporting legislation in the statehouse that would bar the state board from tying licenses to value-added in any capacity in the future.

The TEA, you might remember, endorsed the state's Race to the Top plan, which proposed expanding the use of value-added for teachers' evaluations. Now, the union says the state has gone far beyond the agreements made at that time. It has been particularly peeved by the state's use of "schoolwide" measures in teacher evaluation, because they mean all teachers are to some degree assessed on the performance of students they didn't teach.

Follow along on Twitter at @Stephen_Sawchuk and @TeacherBeat.

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