NASHVILLE -- Gov. Bill Haslam says he agrees with legislative moves to keep new state evaluations of public school teachers off limits to the parents and the rest of the public.
Legislation to do just that is already on its way to a Senate floor vote after being approved Wednesday by the House Education Subcommittee.
"I actually think it should" be kept confidential, Haslam said Thursday. "The goal of evaluations is to have whoever's being evaluated get as much help from that as they can. And my experience has been, if people know that evaluation is going to be public, they [evaluators] are going to be a little less honest with that."
Moreover, Haslam argued, "we're trying to encourage people to be teachers. So if I'm a 20-year-old thinking about teaching, and I'm saying, 'Huh, every quarter, every half-year, whatever, my evaluation's going to be out there in the paper, am I?'
"I mean, I'd ask of you -- do you want to do that? Have your evaluations be in the paper twice a year? Or would that make you less likely to choose that profession?"
Frank Gibson, public policy director and a lobbyist for the Tennessee Press Association, told the Knoxville News Sentinel that the move is unfair to parents, the public and the media.
"It's tragic that we have a new educational model establishing accountability and we make secret records on whether it is working or not," he said.
In other action:
Tennessee auto salvagers and scrap metal dealers will have to be a little more careful before they crush abandoned cars sold to them.
Approved Thursday by a 96-0 vote in the House, a bill sponsored by Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, extends the age of vehicles that processors and salvagers must have titles for from 10 to 12 years. Changes also require the vehicle to be held on a lot for three days before it can be scrapped.
Dean told colleagues vehicles quickly are being "picked up off the interstates and crushed before [owners] realize what's happened." Sometimes the cars have broken down, he said, but in other cases, they may be stolen.
The bill now goes to the Senate.
The original bill went much further, but Dean said negotiating a bill that salvagers and processors wouldn't fight wasn't easy. For example, Dean said he originally wanted business owners to wait five days before processing vehicles.
"It was a pretty tough fight to get the scrap dealers to go along with it because they'll have those cars sitting on their property for three days," Dean said.
Rep. Gary Moore, D-Nashville, called it "sad" that the provisions were not already in law. He said a constituent had a car a little more than 10 years old that wound up being crushed.
"He'd just bought a new motor," Moore said. "Thank you for bringing this."
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...
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