- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposal that would prohibit standardized test scores from being tied to teacher licensing is advancing in the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville was approved in the Senate Education Committee 7-2 on Wednesday.

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.

Bell’s legislation would prevent the policy from taking effect if the board approves it.

Stephen Smith is assistant commissioner of policy and legislation for the state Department of Education. He says the department is OK with standardized test scores not being the sole factor in licensing, but it opposes removing them altogether.

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