Good News! TEA Sues Governor, Commissioner re Junk Science VAM

The Tennessee Education Association filed a second lawsuit against the use if value-added assessment (called TVAAS in Tennessee), this time including extremist Governor Haslam and ex-TFA state commissioner Huffman in their suit.

The teachers rightly say that the evaluations are unfair, a point on which most reputable researchers are in their corner.

“TEA’s lawsuit was filed on behalf of Knox County teacher Mark Taylor, an eighth grade science teacher at Farragut Middle School. Taylor was unfairly denied an APEX bonus after his TVAAS estimate was based on the standardized test scores of only 22 of his 142 students.

“Mr. Taylor teaches four upper-level physical science courses and one regular eighth grade science class,” said Richard Colbert, TEA general counsel. “The students in the upper-level course take a locally developed end-of-course test in place of the state’s TCAP assessment. As a result, those high-performing students were not included in Mr. Taylor’s TVAAS estimate.”

“While Mr. Taylor’s observation score was ‘exceeding expectations,’ his low TVAAS estimate based on only 16 percent of his students dropped his final evaluation score below the threshold to receive the APEX bonus,” Colbert said.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Taylor’s situation is not an uncommon one. Many teachers across the state – particularly at the high school level – are being unfairly evaluated on an arbitrary percentage of their students.”

Gosh, Arne Duncan only recently hailed Tennessee as one of the stars of Race to the Top. Not so much.

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