“It is time to end the annual TVAAS testing debacle for Tennessee teachers and students,” conservative Republican candidate for governor Mae Beavers tells The Tennessee Star in an exclusive interview.
The former State Senator from Mt. Juliet says that despite the best efforts of the Tennessee Department of Education to hide the latest state testing debacle, word is leaking out that Tennessee has once again experienced serious problems with data and test scores related to TVAAS (Tennessee Value Added Assessment System) testing used to determine whether teachers retain their jobs, advance in their careers and get more pay. School districts and individual schools are also punished or rewarded based on TVAAS scores.
“Teachers can lose their jobs as a result of these test scores, yet the Department of Education employees who oversee the testing, select and retain the vendors who conduct the testing process, and use the scores to determine whether teachers retain their jobs or not continue to keep their jobs despite failure after failure after failure in the testing process,” pointed out Beavers. “It is time to clean house in the Department of Education and eliminate TVAAS as a basis for teacher evaluation completely.”
“We have great teachers in Tennessee,” Beavers said, “but unfortunately we have an evaluation system that completely fails to recognize or reward what they are doing.”
“Our teachers are having to spend too much time focused on high stakes tests rather than on teaching. Our kids are forced to focus on tests rather on learning. Once again we are learning that the TVAAS tests, and those who we are paying to score them, have failed us again. Enough is enough.”
“Pearson, Measurement Inc., and now Questar have each shown themselves incapable of efficiently and effectively handling the job of Tennessee testing and scoring. We have fired the incompetent testing companies who have received millions in Tennessee taxpayers’ hard earned money in the past few years. Now it is time to fire the bureaucrats who have hired them and enabled their persistent abuse of our teachers and students!”
“This is the third straight year we have had major problems with the testing process and yet the same people remain in place at the Department of Education dishing out the same excuses. We demand accountability from our teachers, but where is the accountability from them? It is time for Commissioner Candice McQueen to answer to the taxpayers and explain why testing debacles have become an annual event event in Tennessee,” Beavers demanded.
“Teachers should be evaluated by the students, parents and principals who experience their work first hand, not a flawed testing process that is neither reliable or fair.” Beavers is calling for the immediate elimination of TVASS data as a measuring stick for teacher performance and says we should instead “rely upon local school systems developing an evaluation process that is not heavily reliant upon testing.” Beavers said she hopes other gubernatorial candidates will join her call to eliminate TVAAS as a basis for teacher evaluation.
“Teachers have been frustrated over this process for years, and their concerns have been completely ignored. Their concerns will not be ignored in a Beavers’ Administration,” Beavers noted.