(Cross-posted in part from the "TN SCORE Annual Report" thread.)
I'm just back from Dr. McIntyre's State of the Schools address at Powell High. The event was held in the school's auditorium, which seats about 400, and attendees appeared to number around 300.
I think all school board members were present and commissioners present were McKenzie, Broyles, Norman, Hammond, Briggs, Smith, and Wright, as well as Mayor Burchett.
At one point, all teachers, administrators, and school personnel were asked to stand and these appeared to comprise 2/3 of attendees.
Details of McIntyre's report were as follows:
An overview of students' achievement levels, "value-added" measures, and graduation rates over a five-year span indicated that all are on the rise, at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
McIntyre therefore employed these successes to pitch essentially the same budget expenditures he cited to commission last spring, namely increased spending for classroom technology and the APEX teacher evaluation/strategic compensation model (although he for the first time cited a need to raise base teacher pay across the board).
Personally, I was surprised that he continued to pitch via his PowerPoint presentation this APEX evaluation model (and that same strategic comp model, too), given that the Department of Education is even now producing a bill to "reform" that model?
I did get an opportunity to ask Deakins, Kincannon, and Carson all why McIntyre continues to pitch the model, surely knowing that it is to be gutted this legislative session to the hopeful benefit of these 70% of teachers for whom it didn't work.
All three replied that Huffman is only "tweaking" the model.
As I see it, though, if it is to work differently for this vast majority of Tennessee's teachers, his proposed changes won't be "tweaks" at all. Changes that voluminous constitute an "overhaul."
We'll have to wait to see just what he's proposing now, but it seems to me a victory already that Huffman has conceded this "data driven" model was little more than "garbage in, garbage out."
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