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.



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALEXANDER, MARQUEL DESHUN  1284 WH DAVIS DR NASHVILLE, 37208  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ARIAS, DAVID SALAZAR  2 ATLANTA COURT LONGVIEW, 75604  Age at Arrest: 36 years old Arresting Agency: Tenn ... (click for more)

Body Found In Candies Creek Behind Cleveland Church

A body was found in a Cleveland creek on Sunday afternoon. Cleveland Police said the body was in Candies Creek behind the Westwood Baptist Church. The body was located just after 2 p.m. An autopsy was to be performed on Monday. (click for more)

The Growing Monopoly

Over the last decade, five tech giants have risen to the top, and created, discovered and invented services and products that have made these companies worth billions today. Those five, of course, are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each of these companies are responsible for several products and services that we use in our everyday lives. They have devoured the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last Day Of School

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story first appeared in the Chattanooga News-Free Press in the late 1970s and every year about this time I am asked repeatedly about it. It is far and away the most famous story I have ever written – copies have been sent to me from numerous foreign countries, it’s included in teaching manuals and people I haven’t seen in years get in touch when they read it ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Rally Late To Trip Florida Gulf Coast

What a difference a week makes. Coach Jim Foster was verbally upset and unhappy following a sloppy and uninspired performance by the Chattanooga Lady Mocs and the result was an embarrassing 64-44 loss to Virginia Tech. The Lady Mocs were facing another really good non-conference opponent in the Florida Gulf Coast Lady Eagles, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.  ... (click for more)

Commerce Wins Bradley Invitational With Four Champs

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – The host Bradley Bears were the two-time defending champs in their own Bradley Invitational this weekend at Jim Smiddy Arena, but they weren’t able to make it a three-peat. The Commerce Tigers, a powerhouse Class A team from Georgia, had a slim three-point lead going into Saturday afternoon’s medal rounds, but after winning all four of their championship matches ... (click for more)