TEA suing Knox County Schools over bonus decisions

Tennessee Education Association suing Knox County Schools over bonus decisions

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Tennessee Education Association has filed a lawsuit against the Knox County Board of Education saying its use of Tennessee Value Added Assessment System estimates in high-stakes bonus decisions is unconstitutional.

"It is unacceptablefor any teacher to be punished financially or otherwise as a result ofunreliable, flawed statistical estimates that can vary years after a studentwas in that teacher's classroom," said Gera Summerford, TEA president.

TEA says Knox County teacherLisa Trout was unfairly denied the district's APEX bonus after being misledabout how her TVAAS estimate would be calculated.

TEA officials say a guidance counselor incorrectly claimed 10 of Trout's students for her TVAAS score without her knowledge, causing her to get a lower estimate than she should have. She was denied the bonus.

The lawsuit also says the TVAAS estimates are too arbitrary, only using test results of a small segment of a teacher's students to estimate overall effectiveness.

TEA says it expects this to be the first of many TVAAS lawsuits across the state.

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