Knox County teacher speaks out against evaluation system

Knox County teacher speaks out against evaluation system in viral video

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In the video, third grade teacher Lauren Hopson from Halls Elementary expresses concern about recent changes to their evaluation system. (source: YouTube) In the video, third grade teacher Lauren Hopson from Halls Elementary expresses concern about recent changes to their evaluation system. (source: YouTube)
Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre says most teachers believe this system works, but if student test scores are low and an educator isn't hitting goals, help is available. Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre says most teachers believe this system works, but if student test scores are low and an educator isn't hitting goals, help is available.
"There are still some flaws in the evaluation process but this is something that Knox County can't fix themselves but the state needs to work on a rapid pace," said Tanya Coats, President of KCEA. "There are still some flaws in the evaluation process but this is something that Knox County can't fix themselves but the state needs to work on a rapid pace," said Tanya Coats, President of KCEA.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knox County teacher took her opinion to the school board saying she's tired from the rigorous demands by recent changes to their evaluations. Video from that school board meeting has now gone viral.

The video was sent to 6 News by a viewer who says they're also a teacher and understands this Knox County teacher's frustration.

The video, called "What Tennessee Teachers Really Think" on YouTube, has more than 35,000 views.

In the video, third grade teacher Lauren Hopson from Halls Elementary expresses concern about recent changes to their evaluation system.

"I come to you today not as a teacher who has a case of sour grapes, but as one whose job is in jeopardy due to poor evaluations and test scores. If I reduced myself to a number I'm a four at least this year," said Hopson.

The video of Hopson saying she's simply tired is now on the homepage of Knox County Education Association website and is being called a brave move by some.

"The possibility of our entire certification being dependent on test scores and even the opinions of six year olds," added Hopson in the video.

Officials with KCEA say the current evaluation process is fair, but can be tough for educators to grasp the expectations from Tennessee.

"There are still some flaws in the evaluation process but this is something that Knox County can't fix themselves but the state needs to work on a rapid pace," said Tanya Coats, President of KCEA.

According to Tennessee Department of Education, teachers are measured by 50 percent classroom evaluations, 15 percent student achievement, and 35 percent student growth data.

Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre says most teachers believe this system works, but if student test scores are low and an educator isn't hitting goals, help is available.

"The individual learning cycle is about a six week opportunity to work intensively with a coach one-on-one for that coach to model lessons, to provide feedback, to really provide lots of professional development for our teachers," added Dr. McIntyre.

6 News reached out to Hopson for an interview, but has not gotten a reply. Knox County Schools officials say they welcome insight on what works and what doesn't work from teachers, parents and even students.

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