Teachers Union Bashes Governor's Plan - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Teachers Union Bashes Governor's Plan


By Scott Arnold

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Some education experts describe a new plan by Governor Phil Bredesen as inappropriate and morally wrong.

On Tuesday, Governor Bredesen called for a special session to change state law when it comes to how a teacher's job performance is evaluated.

"A teacher does not control all the factors that go into a successful test score," said Tennessee education association president Earl Wiman

Student test scores could account for 50 percent of their grade. Bredesen is calling for the changes, so the state can be eligible for new federal dollars.

"Our share of this could easily be in the hundreds of millions of dollars towards education in the state of Tennessee," said Bredesen.

If changes are made, Bredesen believes the state could have a good shot at winning the federal dollars, from a program called Race for the Top. Only 6 to 8 states will get their share of $4 billion.

Wiman said the possible changes are simply unfair.

"They do not want 50 percent of their evaluation based off a single test score. I concur with that, and I will do everything we can do to keep that from happening," said Wiman.

The Teachers Union has to play a delicate balancing act. They are voicing their opposition to the plan, but do not want to stand in the way because millions of dollars are on the line.

The Union continues to be in contact with the Governor's Office, where they are working on a proposal that eventually will become a bill.

State lawmakers head back into a special session on January 12, and changes have to be made by January 19. That's the deadline for the state to apply for the federal dollars.

email: sarnold@newschannel5.com

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