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Dozens of Metro teachers could lose jobs with evaluations

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

While many teachers are gearing up for a new school year, several others are just worried about keeping their jobs.

As many as 60 teachers in Metro Nashville Public Schools may soon be getting a pink slip, and for those teachers, it could all come down to one test score.

Schools director Dr. Jesse Register sent an email to school board members in which he says teachers who have failed their evaluations two years in a row are at risk of losing their jobs.

Keep in mind, the district changed its teacher evaluations last year. When the change first occurred, 195 teachers failed.

Sixty of those failing teachers remain on the Metro payroll, and scores for their next round of evaluations are due to be released soon.

Teachers are very concerned about the plan, and while some say performance has always been used in hiring and firing, it hasn't been based on this current evaluation system.

It's a system many teachers simply don't trust.

Longtime Metro teacher Carrol Trusty said she loves her job because she believes in her students.

"We have good teachers. Most of the parents in Metro would tell you we do a great job with their children. We teach because we love children," she said.

But Trusty was surprised to hear that the district could use low evaluation scores as grounds for terminating teachers.

"My reaction was, 'What is he thinking?'" she said.

Register sent the letter on the heels of a decision to not fire a longtime Lockeland Design Center teacher.

Along with certain classroom behavior, Register referenced low evaluation scores as part of the reason he was suggesting termination.

"If they are really not good teachers, it is better just to take them out and hire somebody else," said parent Sam Armanuous.

"Someone is not doing their job for that many teachers to be failing," said parent Craig Blackshear.

"They're just passing teachers along, trying to fill in those gaps in the school system, but definitely a little bit above the teachers. That's a lot of teachers."

The teacher evaluation scores are expected to come out in the next week, and we hope to get more answers then about the district's timetable and exactly whose jobs are on the line.

There is also an upcoming meeting to address this issue on Tuesday as school officials say what was good enough in the past may not be good enough starting now.

"This will be year two, and that's the discussion we will be having on Tuesday with the board is how we are going to use those and how we are going to move forward," said Metro schools spokeswoman Olivia Brown.

But teachers are on edge, mainly because they simply do not trust the evaluation system.

"It needs to go away. It's not fair. It's not right," Trusty said.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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