The group charged with reviewing Tennessee’s teacher evaluation process says the state needs to do more to help educators improve. The State Collaborative on Reforming Education, or SCORE, says more intensive skill-building programs should be a top priority this year.
Tennessee has changed just how much students are supposed to learn, while simultaneously upping the pressure on teachers to raise test scores.
Former US Senator—and SCORE founder–Bill Frist says the policies at the root of those changes are solid, but there isn’t yet enough support to help teachers switch their game plan to match the edicts coming down from the state. The model Frist suggests for doing that goes beyond the occasional lecture course on teacher inservice days.
“Professional learning should be ongoing, it should be content-specific, it should be job-embedded, it should be collaborative.”
SCORE’s annual report on Tennessee schools points to a handful of intensive training sessions it says hold promise. It also suggests online courses and video conferencing could help teachers in rural areas connect with other educators facing similar challenges.