Mar 20 2014
08:58 pm

Mark Taylor, 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...TEA expects additional lawsuits to be filed so long as the state continues to tie more and more high-stakes decisions to TVAAS estimates.

Stay tuned...

TNchickadee's picture

It's about time somebody

It's about time somebody stood up against this ridiculous system so the public can finally see what is going on. It seems to make sense to judge teachers on the test scores of their students.That's holding teachers accountable, right? If it were as simple as that, I wouldn't have much argument with it. However, if the public actually knew all the manipulation being done with these scores, they would understand why educators are so angry.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Like I've been saying, the BOE can "sue or be sued."

They're going to incur legal fees either way, so they might as well sue the State Board. At least they won't have to pay damages to so many plaintiffs.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I'm waiting for a suit from some teacher at Sunnyview Primary School who scored a 1 or 2 on her evaluation on the basis of fourth grade reading and math scores at Chilhowee Intermediate School, located down the road.

That was the scenario playing out at both Sunnyview Primary and Farragut Primary in that first year, you know, before McIntyre implemented the SAT-10 in the primary grades.

One of the plaintiffs in the Florida suit was positioned this way and it stands to reason that someone in Knox County was similarly shafted...

TNchickadee's picture

My only disappointment in the

My only disappointment in the reporting of these lawsuits is that it sounds like the claims are all about money. I suppose that is the only thing that can legally be pursued. Most KCS teachers I know don't give a flip about getting an APEX bonus.They want to be treated fairly and respected as professionals, neither of which the current system perpetuates. Guess you can't sue for respect. If you could, the BOE would really have its hands full.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Don't fret, Chickadee. I think reasonable people understand that it is necessary in any lawsuit for the plaintiff to aver an "injury" and that it is easier to aver an injury to one's pocketbook than to one's self-esteem--although teachers are certainly able to claim an injury of both types.

KC's picture

I think reasonable people

I think reasonable people understand

Be warned, their opponents won't use it that way in their political messages. And by opponents, I mean the McIntyres, Haslams, Huffmans, and their ilk.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Does the "Fat Cat Teacher" characterization really resonate? I mean really???

KC's picture

It will among the ignorant

It will among the ignorant who think teachers get 3 months off in the summer, and their day is over at 3:30.

Ignorance. Never underestimate it.

Average Guy's picture

This case is winnable.

In a red state where the Governor and GOP controlled Chamber of Commerce would get a black eye if the case is won.

In other words, unless the AG or some judge can find some technicality to dump it, expect it to drag on for many years.

Heisenberg's picture

TEAM evaulations

The whole TEAM evaluation system needs to go, it was only implemented so Tennessee could receive 500 million of the RttT funds. So not worth the money... all it has done is create an evaluation department in the AJ building. The other half of the eval system is flawed too, you have young teachers evaluating veteran teachers within the same building, on subjects they know nothing about! Just because you are a Principal, that doesn't automatically mean you know all subject areas either, all this does is create resentment, division and oh yes loads and loads of undue stress. Also it is beyond ridiculous to use the same rubric for every teacher whether they teach 1st grade, High School or P.E.

TNchickadee's picture

This system can also protect

This system can also protect bad teachers, because the only number that counts is the test score. A teacher of a non-tested subject with bad classroom eval scores may never get identified if they use a school wide test score that is good. In fact,they could get an APEX bonus.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I've made that same point for some time, Chickadee.

And of course, more recently, the State Board of Ed has actually enshrined in policy that it expects those classroom observation scores to parrot those TVAAS scores!

Anymore, it isn't even possible to "smoke out" the genuinely low performing (but "test-less") teacher by assigning her a low classroom observation score, either, if she's hiding behind some other teacher's higher TVAAS score. The two scores must match, the State Board says.

KCS *is* injured by this evaluation model and because of it KCS *may* file its own suit against the State Board. There is no good reason for the BOE's continued handwringing.

Min's picture

That's the hallmark of Huffman's integrity.

He and his cronies just assumed that teacher observation scores would correlate with student test scores, without any scholarship or research to support that assumption. And when the two didn't correlate in many cases, he blamed the observers, not the flawed evaluation system, and demanded a forced correlation.

He's the worst kind of liar.

Heisenberg's picture

Bad evaluations...

Bad or good evaluations account for half the total evaluation, so while a lackluster teacher may not get an APEX bonus, they could very well be over the TEAM average for flagging a teacher. This is possible just by having good scores that may not even be there students' scores! This total system is junk science and so non authentic for many reasons, see prior post. It is crazy to assume that ALL other professions, except Teaching, gain experience through time. This evaluation system wants to simply ignore a teachers experience which is insulting to those with a few years of valuable experience.

....'s picture

Experience matters

I have been teaching at UT for many years and I am convinced that experience matters. It may plateau at some point, but the first 3 to 5 years make a big difference. And the first time you teach a new subject you're learning again. You don't know how to pace it exactly or what they'll get hung up on.

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