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Public Release of Evaluation Data

March 13, 2012

As I wrote last week, Tennessee considers itself of the “cutting edge” of teacher evaluations in the nation.  As part of our Race to the Top application, the state mandated that 50% of a teacher’s evaluation would be based on student achievement scores.  This seems on the surface to be a valiant step in the right direction toward the effective and meaningful evaluation of teachers.  However, the calculation of that 50% has drudged up a mountain of other issues.

An article in the Tennessean earlier this week announced that teacher evaluation scores would be published sometime this summer.  This news certainly didn’t surprise me, but it did disappoint me.  The idea that my evaluation scores would be published for the public to make their own decisions about me as a teacher left me feeling ill.  No other profession has their performance review results publicized in this manner, and teaching should be no different.

The news that the Department of Education is opposing the publishing of teacher evaluation data is a supporting difference from some of their past decisions.  It will be interesting to see whether or not the media decides to go through with the publicizing of this data or not.  Perhaps the recent DOE announcement is simply a ploy to say they oppose something they know is inevitable?  Let’s hope that’s not the case, but only time will tell.

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