Haslam Signs Tenure Changes Into Law

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A crowd of supporters packed the Old Supreme Court Chambers today as Governor Bill Haslam signed his tenure reform bill into law. Haslam officials said it marked his first legislative victory and was "helping solidify Tennessee at the forefront of education reform in the country."

Governor Haslam said, "This historic legislation marks a major education reform milestone in a process that began last year with the bipartisan First to the Top legislation.

“If Tennessee is going to become the No.

1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs, then it is critical that we improve education because businesses are looking to compete with employees educated for the 21st Century workplace."

He added, “We cannot remain toward the bottom of the pack if we are going to compete for those jobs, and nothing makes as much of a difference in a child’s education as the quality of the teacher at the head of the classroom.”

The legislation, SB 1528/HB 2012, changes a teacher’s probationary period before becoming eligible for tenure from three to five years as well as links tenure status to performance evaluations, "utilizing Tennessee’s extensive student data that is the envy of states around the nation," he said.

The legislation also gives principals the flexibility to keep a non-tenured teacher after the five-year period. Previously a teacher would either receive tenure or be fired after three years.

“Our goal in education is to grow the number of college graduates and provide a better educated work force to attract employers, so our effort begins with making sure every child in every classroom learns from a great teacher,” Governor Haslam said. “We have many great teachers in Tennessee, and we can have even more.”

"True tenure reform has been a dream of Republican legislators for as long as I can remember,” said Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey. “I am proud and honored to stand with our Republican governor as we usher in the beginning of a new era in education in Tennessee where the interests of children come first and our focus remains on creating the most qualified teachers in the nation.”

“Our goal is to make sure our teachers are equipped with the best tools possible to educate Tennessee students,” said state House Speaker Beth Harwell. “We want an effective teacher in front of every classroom, and we want those who are excelling to be rewarded. This proposal is absolutely key to education reform.”

“This is the next step in the continuum of education reform,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville. “Last year, Tennessee made great strides in First to the Top in beginning to address the unacceptably low educational attainment in our state. In step two of these efforts, we once again have the opportunity to lead the nation in education reform by developing a system that treats teachers as professionals and recognizes the critical impact of their work. Effectiveness must be the core criteria for gaining and retaining teacher tenure.”

"Study after study shows when our students have the highest quality teachers leading them, they will reach their full potential,” said state House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga. “I'm proud to support the Governor's efforts to identify and protect the best educators in our schools. Ultimately, this law ensures our next generation will be better equipped to enter the workforce and make Tennessee a better place to live and raise a family.”

"The Governor laid out a clear vision for remaking education in Tennessee,” said state Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville. “He believes we can raise student achievement by recognizing teachers who are distinguishing themselves as high-performing educators in the classroom. I believe he is correct and this law helps us attain this important objective.”

Other education initiatives for Governor Haslam include an expansion of charter schools in the state as well as allowing HOPE Scholarship recipients to use the money for summer classes.


Video Of City Council Meeting 1/27/15

Hammonds Gets 34 Months In Federal Prison After Cocaine Found In His Freezer

Michael Hammonds has been sentenced to serve 34 months in federal prison after Chattanooga Police found cocaine in his freezer. Hammonds appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice. Police on Nov. 15, 2012, located two large bags of cocaine in the freezer. Under the burner of a nearby stove, they also found $1,100 cash and a revolver with five live rounds. (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Big (Un)Easy: Mardi Gras

Not since Hurricane Katrina has New Orleans had a bigger problem. When over a million visitors flood the city for the annual Mardi Gras bash over the next three weeks, there will be signs all around town and into the French Quarter that blare, “CAUTION: Walk In Large Groups. We (heart symbol) love NOPD. We Just Need More Of Them.” In other words, it appears things are quite unsettled ... (click for more)

Libby Peigen Named Soddy-Daisy Volleyball Coach

Libby Peigen, daughter of Ooltewah coach Elaine Peigen, has been named head volleyball coach at Soddy-Daisy, replacing Lorri Johnson. Peigen had been head middle school and assistant varsity coach at East Hamilton before taking over the Lady Trojans' program. She played volleyball at Ooltewah and Lee University. The announcement of Peigen's hiring was originally posted ... (click for more)

Central Rolls Past Hixson In Surprise District 6-AA Romp

The Hixson Wildcats have played a lot of close basketball games this season, but Tuesday's District 6-AA clash at Central wasn't one of them. The Purple Pounders have been hit hard with season-ending injuries as three key players are out with ACL tears while a fourth suffered a broken leg a few weeks back. Despite all of that, there are still some talented players on the Central ... (click for more)