Retired teacher ambushes Governor Haslam and Education Commissioner

An angry retired teacher ambushed the governor with some strong words at a Knox County elementary school. She's upset with how teachers are evaluated in Tennessee classrooms. When she found out Governor Bill Haslam was in town, she lashed out at him and the education commissioner.

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman says, "I'm not going to talk, to do this in front of the media, but I would be interested in talking to you."

Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman dodged questions from Teresa Brown who taught for 30 years.
While she was talking, he turned and walked away and Teresa said sarcastically, "Thank you for your time."

She claims many teachers in Knox County are unhappy with the teacher evaluation systems. Retired educator Teresa Brown says, "When I hear teacher moral is fine and process is fair, it's untrue."

Wednesday night, it was standing room only at the board of education meeting. Teachers showed up to express their frustration.
Several said it's unfair their entire teaching career boils down to two classroom evaluations, one of which is a surprise.

Governor Haslam believes the evaluations work because he says all teachers do better with meaningful feedback and it brings more accountability to the profession.

Governor Bill Haslam says, "The evaluation was first set up in 2010, but the most important thing we've done is kept it going. Prior to this you could have taught for 10 years and never had an evaluation."
Kevin Huffman says, "The feedback is one of most significant things that lead to Tennessee being the fastest improving state in the country."

Tennessee was recently named the fastest improving state in the nation in education, moving for the first time out of 40 rankings into the 30's.

However, Brown left unhappy. Brown says, "I was a little shocked and I shouldn't be because he didn't want to speak about it with the media here. He wouldn't answer your questions truthfully. He danced all around it."

She tells me she stood and waited to talk to the education commissioner and the governor after they visited classrooms, but they got in their car and left without saying a word.

She tells Local 8 she stood and waited to talk to the education commissioner and the governor after they visited classrooms, but they got in their car and left without saying a word. Brown fills in at Knox County Schools and tells me she fears she may be punished for speaking out. She believes standing up for teachers is more important.

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