SCORE’s work is built around four research-based levers to improve student achievement, with great teaching being one. Excellent teacher preparation programs, effective recruitment strategies, and high-quality support and evaluation systems for existing teachers cultivate effective teachers and strong leadership in Tennessee’s schools. In the second part of this legislative series, I provide a synopsis of the most important measures taken up by the Tennessee General Assembly relative to effective teaching and strong leadership.

Effective Teaching


-SB2257/HB2121: provides that duty-free teacher time for instructional planning shall be allocated on an individual basis.

SB2311/HB2133: authorizes local education agencies (LEAs) allow non-teacher LEA employees to participate in either the teacher sick bank or in a separate sick bank for a classified group; specifies that this will not interfere with existing LEA policies relative to sick leave bank that are in effect on this becoming a law.

-SB2277/HB1894: clarifies $100 out of $200 be given to each teacher by October 1 so that the teacher may spend it at any time during that school year on instructional supplies as determined necessary by the teacher; requires LEA to send written explanation to education committees and commissioner for any noncompliance.


 SB2250/HB2108: permits teachers and principals to select the student achievement measures that represent 15 percent of their evaluations, if they can.

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SB2342/HB2264: prohibits the establishment of rules, policies or guidelines that require classroom or position observation results to be aligned with TVAAS data to agree with their evaluators on what should be used; requires the department of education to verify the evaluation measures to ensure that the evaluations correspond with the teaching assignment of each individual teacher and the duty assignments of each individual principal.

SB1813/HB1758: allows teachers scoring “significantly above expectations” on each of their last three evaluations to petition the commissioner of education for a waiver of any requirement for the renewal of their licenses; if granted the waiver, the teacher need not meet the requirement that was waived to receive a renewal of the teacher’s license.

SB1928/HB1849: would have required that evaluations of teachers be based on student performance only in subjects that were tested and in which the teacher taught the students. Failed in House Education Subcommittee.

SB2194/HB2053: would have allowed a licensed teacher to work with a student teacher every other school year without negatively affecting the teacher’s evaluation score during that school year. Failed in House Subcommittee (3-5).

SB2195/HB2054: would have revised provisions governing the tenured teacher evaluations that measure overall performance effectiveness; would have required that teacher and principal performance evaluations be differentiated into three effectiveness groups: “exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” or “below expectations.” Failed for lack of second in House Education Subcommittee.


SB2240/HB1375: prohibits the department of education from revoking or non-renewing an individual’s license based solely on student growth data as represented by the Tennessee value-added assessment system (TVAAS), or some other comparable measure of student growth, if no such TVAAS data is available; removes the law provision whereby the state board of education is authorized to adopt policies for the revocation of licenses and certificates; specifies that a supervisor’s, principal’s or teacher’s license may not be nonrenewed or revoked based on student growth data as represented by the TVAAS or some other comparable measure of student growth, if no such TVAAS data is available. 


The members of the 108th General Assembly passed a balanced budget on April 10. While the $32.4 billion spending plan does not include the initial proposed 1 percent pay increase to teachers, it does provide an $8.5 million salary equity fund for the state’s 83 lowest paid school systems.

-SB1856/HB1381: authorizes LEAs to adopt a salary schedule that is identical in either structure or designated salary levels, or both, to the salary schedule the LEA had in place during the 2012-2013 school year, with such schedule containing steps for each year of service up to and including 20 years and for the attainment of advanced degrees at the level of masters, masters plus 45 hours of graduate credit, specialist in education and doctor of education or doctor of philosophy. In no case may a salary schedule adopted pursuant to this amendment result in the reduction of the salary of a teacher employed by the LEA at the time of the adoption of the salary schedule.

Strong Leadership

SB2063/HB1942: permits municipalities to extend the terms of local school board members in order to comply with the general law and synchronize local elections to the general election.

SB1702/HB1824: would have provided for re-establishment of elected office of school superintendent for county or city school systems upon two-thirds vote of county or city governing body and approval in an election on the question by the voters in ten LEAs as a pilot program. Failed in Senate Education Committee (3-6).

SB2153/HB2237: would have required members of the state board of education to be elected by congressional district for four-year term as current terms expire and vacancies arise. Failed in Senate Education Committee for lack of motion.

-SB2030/HB2086: would have required certain successive appointments to the board to have at least five years of teaching experience in public schools in grades K-12. Failed in House Education Subcommittee.

-SB2104/HB2318: would have required members of both the state and county boards of education to have a high school diploma or GED and at least two years of postsecondary education; current members may fulfill their terms and seek re-election. Failed in Senate Education Committee (2-7).

Stay tuned for the next blog post of this series, which will summarize action on bills that address supporting students from kindergarten to jobs!