NASHVILLE — A proposal that would prohibit standardized test scores from being tied to teacher licensing is advancing in the House.
The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough was approved on a voice vote in the House Education Committee on Tuesday.
The Tennessee Department of Education recommended the new licensure policy, and the State Board of Education voted in August to support it. However, the board changed its stance in January.
The legislation would prevent the policy from taking effect if the board approves it.
The Tennessee Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, has long argued that the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, or TVAAS data, shouldn't be relied upon because it's a statistical estimate and could lead to a flawed evaluation of a teacher.
Rutherford County middle school teacher Ashley Evett says connecting anything unreliable to licensing is ridiculous.
Bill OKs for-profit entities to manage charter schools
NASHVILLE — A proposal that would allow a charter school to be operated by a for-profit entity narrowly advanced out of the House Education Committee.
The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis was approved 8-7 on Tuesday.
Sponsors of the legislation say it's necessary to help charter schools that may need help with management. Currently, Tennessee has 69 charter schools, which are publicly financed but operated independently.
However, opponents of the proposal believe some operators may take advantage of the funds. For instance, some for-profit companies purchase land and build brand new charter schools. Republican Rep. Ron Loller of Bartlett said the entity may turn around and sell the building and profit from the public funds used to build it.
The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Education Committee.
New charge against man in Holly Bobo case
MEMPHIS — Authorities have added a charge of witness coercion against a man accused of kidnapping and killing Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says agents served an arrest warrant on the new charge against 29-year-old Zachary Rye Adams on Tuesday.
Adams has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping charges in the Bobo case. He is jailed without bond in Chester County.
Bobo was 20 when she disappeared from her home near Parsons in Decatur County on April 13, 2011. Her body has not been found.
The TBI did not say why Adams was hit with the new charge. Authorities have released few details of their investigation, which is ongoing.
Police find decomposed bodies of twins in home
CHATTANOOGA — Police are investigating the discovery of the decomposed bodies of 63-year-old twins in a Chattanooga home.
WRCB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1e90RTYhttp://bit.ly/1e90RTY ) that Chattanooga police officers were called to the home this past weekend to check on the residents' well-being.
Police found the skeletal remains of Andrew and Anthony Johnson sitting in recliners in their living room. Investigators think they died in early 2011 based on the bodies' conditions.
Officials said there were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play. Both men were diabetics.
A medical examiner will determine the cause of death. Police are still investigating.