New Common Core-Focused Reading Textbooks Available For Public Review

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Tennessee Department of Education’s proposed reading textbooks for kindergarten through eighth grade are on display for public review at sites across the state.

As a part of Tennessee’s transition to the Common Core State Standards, the new books better align with focus standards in reading and language arts for each grade level.

According to Common Core guidelines, the materials include literary and informational content designed to allow students to go in-depth into each text by re-reading, discussing and writing about what they’ve read.

The department invites feedback from citizens before the books are ultimately reviewed by a textbook committee and voted on by the State Board of Education later this fall. If adopted, students could begin using the new books in 2013-14.

Morgan Branch, director of textbook services, encouraged parents, family members, educators and the general public to visit the textbook sites and to participate in the review process.

“It is very important for the public to have access to the textbooks under consideration," Branch said. “Our goal is to provide a wide variety of materials that enrich and support the curriculum and to address the varied interests, abilities and learning styles of students.” 

The proposed textbooks are on display in 10 sites, and interested citizens should contact the director of the collection site in their area. Input forms, available at each site, are due by Sept. 30. Sites and directors are listed below.

A state review committee of public school teachers will assist the Tennessee Textbook Commission members with their evaluation of the textbooks. The committee will hold a workshop for textbook publishers to respond to the reviews of their books and answer questions. In October, textbook commission members will vote on the new editions to recommend to the state board for the 2013 official list of textbooks.

Board members will decide whether to add the books to its list, and local school systems can then adopt textbooks from the list for a six-year period.

Public comments regarding the proposed textbooks should be sent by Sept. 30 to:

Morgan Branch, Director of Textbook Services
Tennessee Department of Education
Andrew Johnson Tower – 5th Floor
710 James Robertson Pkwy.
Nashville, TN 37243-0379

Citizens with questions about the process may also call Morgan Branch at 615 253-3160.

More information about Common Core and the selection of Common Core-focused reading textbooks can be found at TNcore.org.


UT Professor Develops App For Patients Who Can't Speak

Patients who are unable to communicate with their health care providers are now able to better verbalize their needs, thanks to a new app developed by Rebecca Koszalinski, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Speak for Myself allows intubated and voiceless patients to communicate pain, fear, anxiety, loneliness and toileting requests ... (click for more)

AT&T Donates $5,000 To CSCC

AT&T announced a $5,000 contribution to the Cleveland State Community College to support non-traditional, underserved students preparing for high-skill jobs requiring technology-based skills in Tennessee community colleges.  The donation will fund scholarships to help students begin a path toward completing their college degrees. The contribution was presented on Tuesday ... (click for more)

Boyd Questions Effectiveness Of Read 20 Program; Coppinger Defends It

County Commissioner Tim Boyd said he questions the effectiveness of the Read 20 pre-K literacy program and wants the director to come before the County Commission to answer questions.   County Mayor Jim Coppinger defended the program, noting that it was the creation of former County Mayor Claude Ramsey.   Commissioner Boyd said the low literacy level hearing ... (click for more)

Corker Says Without Budget Reform, Washington Is “Laying A Huge Burden On Future Generations”

In remarks on the Senate floor  on Wednesday , Senator Bob Corker joined a number of colleagues to discuss the broken federal budget process.   “The processes that we have in place make it impossible for us to really deal with our country’s fiscal issues,” said Senator Corker. “Today is the perfect example of that: we pass a continuing resolution ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)