Knox County teachers meet to discuss testing data waiver

Not all teachers agree whether their students' standardized test scores should be used as a way to evaluate their teaching. (10/20/16 11 p.m.)

Inside West High School's library, Knox County teachers met to share their feelings about making their classrooms some of the best in the country.

Also on the agenda, discussing what teachers across the district really think about testing.

Knox County's school board stalled a vote last month on whether testing data can be used to evaluate students.

"I thought today went well, I love the fact that our teachers are candid, brave, willing to tell you what they think about things, even when it's different from what the superintendent thinks about things,” explained Interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas.

Thomas says out of 20 teachers in attendance - 12 wanted the waiver, 8 did not.

Some supporting the waiver point to past standardized testing issues.

"We were told over and over that the testing would be fine. There would be no issues with the testing. We were always concerned what would happen if it fell apart, and it did,” said Chilhowee Intermediate teacher Eric Aguilar.

Earlier this year, Tennessee ditched the T-N-Ready Test company after a series of problems.

Through tonight's discussion both sides of the argument were fleshed out.

"We have people that are completely against it saying that our scores need to count for our students, whereas others are nervous about the new testing that they shouldn't count for students and for teachers,” explained West High School Teacher Laura Davis.

Including what testing data can prove.

"We both want to know are our students learning and how can we use data to determine if they're learning and if they're not what changes do we need to make,” explained Aguilar.

Tonight presented many sides of the testing issue, but it's clear teachers have one common goal.

"There are a lot of different opinions that teachers have, but in the end we all have the common interest of what's best for students,” said Aguilar.

"They want to build the best schools in the south and they have a deep rich concept of what that means,” said Thomas.

The opinions collected Thursday will be presented to the board of education.

They meet next in November and the waiver discussion will be on their agenda.

Tomorrow the school board begins its retreat which will include setting a plan to hire a permanent superintendent.

(© 2016 WBIR)


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment