State Releases Report Card on Teacher Effectiveness - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

State Releases Report Card on Teacher Effectiveness

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The annual report by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission is measuring if what education majors learn here in college eventually affects the academic achievement of their future students.

"As a result we're going to make informed data driven decisions as opposed to anecdotal decisions," Dr. Bill Johnson, Assistant Dean at Tennessee State University, said about the results.

The report compares the test scores of students with teachers that have less than three years of experience. Then it links those results along with other factors to the school the teachers attended.

"This is the only opportunity we have to link their student achievement to our preparation program," Dr. Deborah Boyd, Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Studies at Lipscomb University said.

According to the data, Lipscomb University is one of only 3 programs in the state that tends to produce teachers with higher student achievement gains when compared to veteran teachers.

"It gives us a chance to look at some things we think we've done really well and we can celebrate," Boyd said. "It also gives us a chance to look at some things we'd like to improve."

At Tennessee State University improvements are underway.

"Our teachers are not performing the way we expect them to perform," Johnson said.

While Johnson highlights flaws with the data, he explains the education department is in the fourth year of a state program to restructure the curriculum.

"We've moved most of our courses, a lot of our courses and our content from classroom based to field based experiences" he said

If teachers are the most important factor to a student success, the report gives institutions concrete ways to see how they can be better prepared.

As part of the report each college or university will receive individual feedback about their programs.

Strengths and weaknesses will be identified so each school can make the necessary improvements.


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