Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students


TEA General Counsel: TVAAS Creator Bill Sanders Would Have Found Current Misuse of Value-Added Data "Parochial and Ineffectual"

TVAAS estimates do not have the sort of mathematical precision Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman has suggested. “In fact, the often-acknowledged imprecision of these estimates calls for great care in how these estimates are used and makes the commissioner’s licensure idea so wrong,” says TEA General Counsel Rick Colbert in this video. Citing data from the Strategic Data Project at Harvard University, Colbert points out the limitations of the value-added measures that must be taken into consideration when interpreting results.

Wear Red for Public Ed on December 9

TEA invites all staff and members to show their support for public schools by Wearing Red for Public Ed on December 9, the day designated as a National Day of Action for Public Education.  In part because the designated date is so close at hand, TEA will not be initiating any other action from the state level though local affiliates may wish to plan some appropriate local or regional activity on December 9. 

TEA General Counsel on "The Trouble With TVAAS"

“Basing teacher licensure decisions solely on TVAAS results, regardless of what teachers have made on their overall evaluation scores, is misguided,” says TEA General Counsel Rick Colbert in this video, available on the TEA YouTube channel. In the second presentation of a four-part series highlighting problems with using TVAAS data as a basis for license advancement and renewal, Colbert explains why using TVAAS estimates as blunt tools with which to end teachers’ careers is the wrong and destructive approach.

Announcing new TEA Executive Director

At its October meeting, the TEA Board of Directors voted to employ Carolyn Crowder as TEA’s new executive director.  Crowder was selected for the position through a very deliberative process by a special Executive Director Search Committee convened by TEA President Gera Summerford.

“We extend our congratulations to Ms. Crowder and look forward to her leadership at TEA,” said President Summerford in announcing the board’s decision.

Warning: Retirement Scam Letters Sent to TCRS Members

From the Tennessee Treasury Department - The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) has become aware of a Texas-based company making incorrect and misleading statements about TCRS.

The company, Teachers Pension Advisory Services, with a postal address in Katy, Texas, has mailed letters to TCRS members that contain misleading information and claim they can provide a “free estimate of your TCRS benefits.”

State Board Votes to Delay Implementation, Further Study Licensure Proposal

The State Board of Education voted 6-3 to approve the licensure proposal, but delayed its implementation by one year, until August 2015. The board acknowledged the many concerns about the proposal as it now stands and made a commitment to further study the plan and amend it as-needed over the coming year.

While TEA would have preferred the board had voted down the current proposal, this outcome is still a win for Tennessee teachers. The vote today is evidence that the voices and concerns of educators were heard and considered.