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.


Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

One Man Dies After Early Saturday Morning Car Crash

A crash in the early hours of Saturday morning has left one man dead.  Chattanooga Police responded to 700 Central Avenue for a traffic crash with serious injuries on Saturday at 3:30 a.m.   An Acura sedan was stopped at the traffic light on Central Avenue at McCallie Avenue heading north when a Mercury sedan traveling north on Central Avenue struck the Acura from ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He Can Never Go Home

When Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston sparked top-ranked Florida State to a 56-41 comeback over N.C. State last Saturday, you would have thought the world had forgotten and virtually excused his vulgar rant from the week before. His inexcusable mid-week antics kept him sidelined during the Clemson game and brought down the nation’s scorn but less than a week later he was ... (click for more)

Baylor Impressive In Volleyball Sweep Of Signal Mountain

Baylor coach Sarah Lail paused briefly before saying that she's seen her Lady Red Raider volleyball team play better than they did on Monday, but they did just about everything right as they celebrated Senior Night with an impressive 3-0 victory over the Signal Mountain Lady Eagles. It was a meeting of two of the top three teams in Chattanooga -- too bad that Ooltewah couldn't ... (click for more)

Basketball, Wrestling Mocs Host Ball N' Brawl

It’s party time in the Scenic City. Chattanooga’s team is sending some of its best to close down 3rd Street on Friday, October 10, for Ball N’ Brawl. This inaugural event features the men’s and women’s basketball programs along with the wrestling team. “This was an idea coaches Heath Eslinger (wrestling) and Will Wade (men’s basketball) came up with,” Director of Marketing and ... (click for more)