Haslam Makes Commitment To Increase Teacher Pay; Democrats Cautious On Plan

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Governor Bill Haslam on Thursday joined Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman to announce the administration’s goal of "becoming the fastest improving state in the nation when it comes to teacher salaries."

The governor said, “We’re asking our students to be the fastest improving in the nation in education achievement, and the data is showing that we’re making real progress. Teachers are the single most important factor in student achievement, and higher accountability for teachers and proven results should be met with better rewards.” 

During the Haslam administration’s first years in office, the state has seen three consecutive years of growth in TCAP results, including the largest TCAP gains in Tennessee history last year, his office said. 

TCAP results also show Tennessee has 91,000 more students on grade-level math and more than 50,000 more on grade-level in science. 

“This is a long-term goal, and I think it is one of the most important ones we’ve taken on,” Governor Haslam added. “We are committed to investing in our educators and working in partnership with the General Assembly and our local school districts to examine where we are every year, track our progress against other states and make investment decisions that will move Tennessee forward.”

His office said, "Haslam and the General Assembly have committed more than $130 million during the past three years in new, recurring funds for teacher salaries, translating into the average Tennessee teacher earning $50,000 per year.

 "The governor and legislature have also worked together to increase overall education funding by more than $400 million.

 "In that time, the average teacher pay in Tennessee has improved at twice the national average, according to state and National Education Association statistics."  

House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh responded, "House Democrats share Governor Haslam’s stated desire to increase teacher pay in Tennessee. Teachers in this state are overworked, underpaid and deserve to be treated as professionals.
 
"However, after listening to teachers across the state, we are increasingly convinced that Commissioner Huffman’s unproven, unreliable testing methods as a basis for teacher pay are hurting our public education system.
 
"As always with this administration, the devil will be in the details. Our teachers and students are already overburdened with standardized testing. Basing teacher pay on test scores, especially the scores of students they never teach, is going to further strain the system, lower morale and detract from the progress we have made in Tennessee.
 
"Democrats stand ready and willing to support the Governor’s efforts to increase pay for teachers in Tennessee. We just hope that in doing so, the Governor and Commissioner Huffman will bring teachers, school superintendents, and parents to the table to ensure that we do so in the most proven, effective way possible."


Dalton Police Arrest 8 In Prostitution Sting

The Dalton Police Department arrested eight potential “Johns” in a prostitution sting  on Wednesday  night. In recent months, Dalton detectives have received complaints of prostitutes operating in the area and have been investigating.  An undercover officer posed as a prostitute for the operation. Investigators placed an ad online and the suspects agreed to ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 1 GS 1570989 DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 2 GS 1570990 LIGHT LAW VIOLATION ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 1 GS 1182477 VIOLATION OF REGISTRATION LAW ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 2 GS 1182478 FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAW ARD, KEVIN ... (click for more)

Getting The Message

Our school age youth have inspired me with their responses during “Q and A” sessions after my readings as a volunteer during African American History Celebrations and Read across America Celebration, too.  Before this school year, I read to classes at Orchard Knob Elementary School and at Rivermont Elementary School, here in Hamilton County.   Their answers to factual ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ed Chief ‘Embarrassed’

At the start of the school year in September, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen held an “educational summit” with state legislators from embattled Hamilton County. The entire “summit” took a prescribed 90 minutes and was such a dog-and-pony show her strongest statement was, "Create your plan around the right vision, have some metrics and align to the right ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Softball Ranked No. 33 In MaxPreps Preseason Top 50

Ooltewah’s softball team is ranked No. 33 nationally in the Maxpreps Preseason Top 50 and junior Kayla Boseman is on the website’s preseason All-America team. The Lady Owls finished third in the 2015 TSSAA Class 3A state tournament, but was eliminated by Stewarts Creek 6-2 in the sectional. Ooltewah has a combined record of 81-16 over the past two seasons. Coach Jon Massey ... (click for more)

Silverdale Girls Claim District 5-A Championship

The face and philosophy might have changed, but the expectations for the Silverdale Baptist Academy girls’ basketball team remained the same. Heading into the season with five seniors and a first-year, first-time head coach in Victor Underwood, the Lady Seahawks had their sights set on winning a District 5-A championship. Wednesday night, they achieved that goal with ... (click for more)