Knox Co. teachers sound off on regulations and evaluations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) It was standing room only at Wednesday night's Knox County Board of Education meeting. Hundreds of teachers filled the room to express their fear and unrest with new state standards.

Around 20 teachers had signed up to address the board, most saying they are unhappy and frustrated with how they are being evaluated in the classroom.

Several said it is unfair that their entire teaching career boils down to two classroom evaluations throughout the entire year.

Knox County teacher Katherine McDonough explained it from the student's perspective.

"If we were to give two assessments...to our kids, one that's a surprise and one that they knew about, and then say, okay here's your grade for the year, that would be totally unacceptable. But that's how we're being treated," McDonough said.

As teachers were given their time to address the board, several became emotional over the thought of the evaluation system. They said that this frustration has been building for a couple years now, and this was the boiling point.

Several others said they fear for their jobs because of how they are scored, and that it doesn't allow for any creativity from the teacher because all the teacher is focused on is their rating.

Teacher Maureen Myers has been an educator for 30 years and has a Master's Degree. She was very clear on her opinion of the assessment.

"I've never had any...any class that ever said that throwing all this crap at people was a good idea for better education," Myers said choking back tears.

Myers received a standing ovation from the crowd of teachers.

"We're just frustrated. How can you make (school) about the kids when it's now all about us and our scores," McDonough said. That's what it feels like. It feels like every day it's about me. And it should never be about me. It's about the kids and their learning."

Superintendent Doctor Jim McIntyre wasn't clear on a plan on how to address the concerns the teachers presented to the board Wednesday evening, but said that the board will discuss the issues further at its next meeting.


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