In a letter to Governor Bill Lee on Tuesday, four Tennessee lawmakers said that teachers should not be judged based on how students perform on standardized tests during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In it, they asked the governor to stop teacher evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year. Rep. John Ray Clemmons signed the letter along with Rep. Bill Beck, Rep. Jason Hodges and Rep. Gloria Johnson. In it, they said that almost nothing is consistent during the COVID-19 pandemic so it would be unfair to conduct standardized testing.
They said testing would cause undue stress, take time away from learning and cost around $20 million. The representatives also noted that Governor Lee said that teachers and schools should not face negative consequences for how students perform on tests this academic year.
"We respectfully request that you reconsider your insistence on standardized testing and immediately instruct school districts to cease teacher evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year," they said in the letter. "This action is the only true guarantee that teachers will have between now and the next legislative session that they will not be negatively impacted by a myriad of factors far outside their control."
On Friday, Governor Lee said he would propose a measure that would make sure teachers and students do not receive negative impacts from yearly testing and evaluations.