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Sullivan BOE set to oppose teacher license policy

September 5th, 2013 11:40 pm by Rick Wagner

Sullivan BOE set to oppose teacher license policy

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County’s school board is poised to go on record next week opposing the Tennessee Board of Education’s recent teacher licensure vote.

The Monday Sullivan vote, discussed at a Thursday BOE work session, would follow the Johnson City school board’s action taken Wednesday on the controversial state decision.

“If a doctor can’t cure me, he doesn’t lose his license,” Sullivan County BOE member Robyn Ivester of Piney Flats said.

Ivester, a teacher in the Johnson City school system, said she was trying not to be “totally inflammatory” but is fully opposed to what the state BOE did Aug. 16.

Testing, she said, is not foolproof.

“You get a principal who doesn’t like the teacher, they stack the class and the teacher eventually is toast,” Ivester said.

Director of Schools Jubal Yennie responded that he, too, is opposed to such “high stakes” use of test scores or, as he put it, “what an 8-year-old does once in the spring” in taking TCAP or Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests.

The new policy, opposed by the Tennessee Education Association, bases the granting and renewal of professional teaching licenses on in-class assessments and a value-added score derived from students’ standardized test results, according to state BOE Chairman Fielding Rolston of Kingsport.

See Friday's print edition for an expanded version of this story.

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