TEA stops in Knox Co. for road trip to fight testing system

TEA stops in Knox Co. for road trip to fight testing system

Posted:
The president of the Tennessee Education Association made a stop in Knoxville Wednesday as part of the "TEA Road Trip," to discuss what the organization calls problems with the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS). The president of the Tennessee Education Association made a stop in Knoxville Wednesday as part of the "TEA Road Trip," to discuss what the organization calls problems with the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS).
"It's not producing the type of effective teaching that we'd like to see," TEA President Gera Summerford said. "It's not producing the type of effective teaching that we'd like to see," TEA President Gera Summerford said.
"It's an estimation or an educated guess," Knox County Education Association President Tanya Coats said. "It's an estimation or an educated guess," Knox County Education Association President Tanya Coats said.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The president of the Tennessee Education Association made a stop in Knoxville Wednesday as part of the "TEA Road Trip," to discuss what the organization calls problems with the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS).

"It's not producing the type of effective teaching that we'd like to see," TEA President Gera Summerford said.

Summerford said the purpose of the road trip is to educate the public about TVAAS.

"There's a large standard error," Summerford said. "The estimate of the student growth measures is not as accurate as we thought it was."

"It's an estimation or an educated guess," Knox County Education Association President Tanya Coats said.

TVAAS is one of several issues Knox County teachers have been expressing frustrations over during Board of Education meetings over the last few months.

"In some ways, Knox County has taken the lead," Summerford said. "The teachers here have really gotten vocal about their concerns but we've been hearing these concerns consistently over the last three years from teachers all across the state."

TVAAS is a statistical measurement of student growth that in part includes TCAP scores and end of course tests but it also includes estimates of future student growth.

"It doesn't sound right that you would have a guess on both ends," Coats said. "You can't assess a test that's based on assumptions."

TEA is challenging the state Board of Education's decision to link TVAAS results to teacher licensure renewal.

Last month's Knox County teacher surveys revealed frustration over TVAAS policies. One teacher wrote, "student testing should not be tied to employment."

Another teacher wrote that "teaching is not about students anymore," calling them data and statistics instead.

TEA said they feel administering a test at the beginning and end of the school year would be a more effective method to measure student growth.

"We are not proposing more testing, Summerford said. "We recognize that children are being tested too much as it is but we would like to see a measure that actually measures for each teacher in each classroom."

For more information about the TEA and the Road Trip events, visit the group's website.

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