Roughly 1,000 low-rated teachers in the Metro Nashville Public Schools system are teaching without a formal plan from the district to turn around their performance, officials said Tuesday.
System-wide, 87 out of the district’s roughly 6,000 teachers have a written “plan of assistance” outlining how to improve their performance.
Teachers are graded on a five-point scale where a “five” reflects a high-performing teacher. District-wide, 3 percent of teachers walked away with a score of “one” last year, and almost 18 percent received a “two” — both scores that require intervention.
While most of those teachers don’t have a written turnaround plan, district officials said those teachers now meet with school leaders regularly following their state-mandated evaluations and observations.
“We need to use this system to improve practice,” said Jesse Register, director of schools. “The great majority of our teachers do good work and we need to help them get better.”
More than half of the district’s teachers are receiving a “four” or a “five” in their teacher evaluations — 29 percent received a “five,” about 26.5 percent earned a “four” and more than 23.5 percent were given a “three.”
The statistics came from the district’s Division of Human Capital, which manages the inflow of new teachers, their evaluations and retention. The data, presented to school board members Tuesday, is based off evaluation scores from the 2011-12 school year.
Register said the district needs to spend more time focusing on how to improve teachers, and build teacher trust — not lean toward removing teachers.
“We cannot drop the ball once they come to work for us,” he said.
Half of each teacher’s evaluation is based on the results of principal observations of the teacher performance in the classroom.
For teachers with students taking standardized tests in their subject area, another 35 percent of the evaluation factors in student academic growth from year-to-year, which is measured by Tennessee Value Added Assessment scores. The final 15 percent calculates another data-driven factor of the teacher’s choosing, such as school-wide test scores, which can bring down evaluation scores in struggling schools.