Mae Beavers: ‘It Is Time to End Annual TVAAS Testing Debacle for Tennessee Teachers and Students’

“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.

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8 Thoughts to “Mae Beavers: ‘It Is Time to End Annual TVAAS Testing Debacle for Tennessee Teachers and Students’”

  1. […] state senator from Mt. Juliet,  slammed the state’s standardized testing program in an interview with The Tennessee Star last […]

  2. John

    Are you an American before any party loyalties? Are you or were you at any time a “NEVER TRUMPer”?

  3. […] committee is scheduled to meet in Nashville. Meanwhile, one Republican gubernatorial candidate says the state should eliminate student growth scores from teacher evaluations, and a teachers union in […]

    1. Linda Putt

      Why do private schools not have to have State testing? They seem to be getting a great education just letting their teachers teach. There is too much pressure on teachers having to teach the test. Yet the State was considering vouchers to church sponsored schools. Separation of church and State? Paid for with taxpayer money?

  4. Susan E Gingrich

    It’s time for a governor like Mae Beavers who will demand accountability for spending every cent of taxpayer dollars. She will eliminate liberal education ideas currently part of the Haslam administration which waste money and don’t educate students. All state students must learn to speak and write English as a first language. Less state dictates on how teachers teach-more emphasis on competent teachers and administrators accountable to local taxpayers. Every level of TN government must answer to taxpayers. Taxpayers, especially parents, should have an important role in selecting curriculum and textbooks used in school districts. Real transparency needed not just politicians using the word without ever providing it.

  5. It is time for Tennessee to say NO to ESSA. The lies we have been told are overwhelming. We need TN to be the first state to stand up and wipe the slate clean. Tell them to take their ESSA and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. We have rebranded Common Core standards in TN and don’t have the money to change and the US Dept of Ed knows every state has billions invested and cannot afford to change. Lets take that surplus and use it to start with a clean slate and bring in real experts to revamp education. Prior to 1992 the US never had standards and we need to go back to that. You cannot standardize children or learning. Standards set one goal for all students and that is impossible unless you dumb down the system to the lowest denominator. I would like to see Governor Beavers bring in Dr. Peg Luksik as our next Commissioner of Education. The US government can threaten to withhold our money but I say they never will do it and legally they cannot. Lets get back to REAL state and local control. ESSA does not do that. I am one of the national leaders for a campaign to repeal ESSA and restore FERPA. Social and emotional assessment and remediation is taking the place of academics. ESSA is a mental health bill not an education bill.

  6. Paul

    Peer evaluation is a great way to ensure EVERYONE is up to standard. Then a panel at another level can review and monitor these evaluations to hold the local levels to standard.

  7. 83ragtop50

    I agree with Ms. Beavers’ assessment of the need to clean house after multiple failed attempts to hire and hold accountable the companies making millions off of the flawed testing programs. I wish it were as simple as putting the responsibility for teacher evaluations at the local level where they truly belong. But my personal experience is that the local school administrations are plagued by the good old boy syndrome whereby the unqualified and/or incompetent teachers are allowed to remain in the classroom for years. In other words, there is no simple solution to this problem. It will require local administrators to actually terminate teachers who are failing to teach our children. Then they will have to deal with the fallout with the all powerful teachers unions.