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New Teacher Eval. System Causing More Concern

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.  --  You may have seen a Tennessean story last week about the Williamson County School System closing some classrooms to student teachers.

Tennessee adopted a new teacher evaluation system this year, and apparently teachers in Williamson County are worried how the students might impact their scores.

A former Tennessee Commissioner of Education is weighing in on that issue today.

Lana Seivers served as Education Commissioner for five years under the Bredesen Administration. She’s now Dean of the College of Education at Middle Tennessee State.

Seivers has spoken with school officials around Tennessee in recent days and says she’s hearing a lot of concern about how best to implement the new evaluation system. But she also says that, besides Williamson County, she’s heard of only two other systems in Tennessee that have chosen to close their doors to student teachers.

"I think the intent is a good one. I think the evaluation model is a good one. There are several in the state. It's just the way you administer it and the logistics of it that seem to be causing the biggest problems."

Seivers says she’s also spoken with school officers in Williamson County since the Tennessean story broke and thinks that even there the system’s primary concern is simply to ensure student teachers are placed with top scoring teachers.