Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tennessee BAT Tales- Installment One

Here is what is happening in Tennessee. For the past few years, working conditions for teachers and learning conditions for students have gotten progressively worse. The emphasis on testing is hurting our schools. Teachers and students are constantly preparing, taking, or reviewing tests. Many teachers are afraid to teach anything that “isn’t on the test.” 

Teacher evaluations and jobs are now tied to students’ test scores. Teachers are not even sure exactly how they are tied. Evaluations include TVAAS scores, and no one at the State level will disclose exactly HOW those scores are calculated. Scores are not only tied to teacher jobs, but also a student’s final grade. EOC’s ( End of Course Tests ) count for 25% of students’ grades in English. Teachers in a high-poverty school, that have a large number of students who speak English as a Second Language, are pretty much doomed. 

Students are burnt-out on tests. At some schools, the only grades that count on a student’s report card are test grades. Schools have adopted Standards -Based Grading which means that students who complete all of their work, but can’t pass the tests, are still given failing grades. It’s sad. Students want their bellwork, homework and classwork to count towards their grade- but teachers aren’t allowed to count it. 

The assessment that comes with Common Core is far more demanding than the EOC test that TN gives now. If large percentages of students aren’t passing the test TN has now, how is it going to help them to give them a much harder test? Teacher morale is low. Kids are sick, bored, and stressed from too much testing.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this!!!! ^0^ ^0^

Warm Fuzzies said...

Need to add that teacher pay, tenure and soon licensure is also tied to evaluations, test scores and student scores. Only 1 teacher from each grade in our school attended CC$$ training. No training has been giving regarding PARCC for next year and professional development has been focused on a new pay for performance teacher evaluation model. We spend an hour every week analyzing a rubric that was never peer reviewed.

Unknown said...

Be sure to check out the TN BAT page for our action at the Knox County Board of Education meeting last night.