"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, March 10, 2014

First of Many Tennessee Lawsuits Filed Over Use of High Stakes Value-Added Testing

Andy Spears has more here.

From WATE in Knoxville:

NOXVILLE (WATE) - The Tennessee Education Association has filed a lawsuit against the Knox County Board of Education saying its use of Tennessee Value Added Assessment System estimates in high-stakes bonus decisions is unconstitutional.

"It is unacceptable for any teacher to be punished financially or otherwise as a result of unreliable, flawed statistical estimates that can vary years after a student was in that teacher's classroom," said Gera Summerford, TEA president.

TEA says Knox County teacher Lisa Trout was unfairly denied the district's APEX bonus after being misled about how her TVAAS estimate would be calculated.

TEA officials say a guidance counselor incorrectly claimed 10 of Trout's students for her TVAAS score without her knowledge, causing her to get a lower estimate than she should have. She was denied the bonus.

The lawsuit also says the TVAAS estimates are too arbitrary, only using test results of a small segment of a teacher's students to estimate overall effectiveness.

TEA says it expects this to be the first of many TVAAS lawsuits across the state.

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