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Sullivan school board extends Yennie's contract, opposes teacher licensure decision

September 9th, 2013 10:48 pm by Rick Wagner

Sullivan school board extends Yennie's contract, opposes teacher licensure decision

Jubal Yennie

BLOUNTVILLE  — In a 5-2 vote, Sullivan County’s school board has extended the contract of Director of Schools Jubal Yennie until 2017.

But in a unanimous vote, the board Monday night also voted to go on record against the Tennessee school board’s decision to connect value-added test scores to teacher licensure.

The county Board of Education voted to extend Yennie’s contract two more years to the maximum allowable four years under state law, but that same board vote also was to negotiate an amendment to the contract to make Yennie’s raises the same percentage as teacher raises rather than the Consumer Price Index. A vote on that will come Oct. 7.

However, it was unclear Monday night whether Yennie’s 2013 raise would be affected by the amendment, so he would either get no raise this year since teachers didn’t get one or a raise from $129,654 to $131,728 based on a 1.6 percent CPI increase.

On the teacher licensure issue, the board unanimously approved a resolution suggested by BOE member and Johnson City teacher Robyn Ivester at a Thursday work session.

The licensure change approved by the state BOE, but not effective until 2015, says that if teachers score a 1 out of 5 in two of the past three years they will be placed in a review status for an additional year and could lose their license if they score a 1 during the year of review status.

The county resolution says “tying teacher licensure renewal to performance, based primarily on valued-added assessment scores, is inherently inequitable and counterproductive” and a “disparity between the valued-added scores for those educators who teach a tested subject and those who do not.”

It also says standardized testing is “one measure of a teacher’s overall performance and should not be given more weight than many other factors that contributed to a teacher’s effectiveness” and the change would “make it more difficult to recruit and place high-quality, well-trained educators in hard-to-staff schools and to attract and maintain excellent teachers.”

See Tuesday’s print or electronic edition for an expanded version of this story.


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