State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday:

After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, our state is moving forward with the foundational efforts that together have made Tennessee the fastest-improving state in student achievement. We continue to raise academic expectations for students through Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards. We are implementing a teacher evaluation system that supports effective teaching. We have a strong state accountability system. We thank the General Assembly for soundly rejecting many efforts to repeal or delay key student-centered education policies. 

While high academic standards, effective teaching, and accountability for results are vital parts of Tennessee’s work to improve student achievement, so, too, is an accurate measurement of student progress. Tennessee needs good assessments that allow students to show what they know, deliver timely information about student progress to teachers and parents, and reinforce the problem-solving and critical thinking skills students need to succeed in college and careers.

This legislation (HB1549/SB1835) creates a disappointing pause in Tennessee’s efforts to have a high-quality assessment that truly measures student learning. We have supported moving to a new state assessment in the 2014-15 school year because students deserve a more engaging, skills-based assessment that is better aligned with classroom instruction and allows them the opportunity to show how much they have actually learned.  In addition, teachers need an assessment that is fully aligned with the standards they are using in the classroom. 

We remain confident that Tennessee’s students are capable of the highest academic performance. Looking ahead, it is critical that policymakers and other state leaders use this time of transition to diligently ensure Tennessee has a fair, skills-based, and authentic assessment that measures problem-solving and critical thinking skills by the statutory deadline of 2015. The important work communities, districts, and schools are doing to upgrade their technology infrastructure in preparation for online assessments is vital to this transition and should continue in earnest. Last, we ask that leaders across the state work to ensure that educators and parents receive clear and transparent direction on what to expect next to avoid confusion and disruption during this transition.



Muslim Credo Impels Attacks, Hammond Says; Sheriff Using U.S. Intel

The Muslim attacker in Chattanooga was living out the tenets of a totalitarian faith, and the sheriff’ department’s U.S.-supplied surveillance data did not have him “on the radar screen,” Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond says in an interview.  Muslim religious and political creeds dictate world domination in which acts of terror and jihad are religiously sanctioned, ... (click for more)

A Different Perspective

The actions of Mr. Abduluzeez may or may not have had anything to do with his religious beliefs. It's doubtful we'll ever know the full truth.   I was born into the Jim Crow segregated south and I know what persecution of an entire race, ethnic group is like and how deadly it can turn with little and no notice. How, the same individual who sat at your table or greeted you ... (click for more)

Crowd Packs Lindsey Street Hall For Presidential Candidate Rubio

A Chattanooga crowd packed the Lindsey Street Hall for presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Thursday afternoon. Former Congressman Zach Wamp, the statewide Rubio chairman, helped build the frenzy with a spirited introduction. "I believe in him 100 percent," he said of the 44-year-old junior Florida senator. The candidate stepped onto the stage of the former church just after ... (click for more)

Mississippi Couple Injured In Tragic Wreck At Ooltewah Exit Asking $1.5 Million In Damages

A Mississippi couple who said they suffered severe injuries in the June 25 wreck at the Ooltewah exit of I-75 in which six people were killed are suing for $1.5 million. John and Nancy Stanley, of Braxton, Miss., filed suit in Federal Court in Chattanooga. They are suing the driver of the truck that plowed into eight vehicles, Benjamin Brewer, as well as the owner of the truck, ... (click for more)

Wrestling Session Sparks Lady 'Canes To Volleyball Win

All season long, East Hamilton volleyball coach Kristy Lenoir has been less than pleased with her team’s lack of emotion on the court. So, to change that Lenoir spent her allotted practice time putting the Lady Hurricanes through one-on-one wrestling matches. Yep, wrestling. “I’ve never had a practice like that one,” Lenoir said Thursday. “We’ve lacked emotion and a desire ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Opener: UTC vs. Jax State – Saturday at Finley Stadium; 6 p.m.

Saturday at Finley Stadium at 6 p.m.  it’s No.8 Chattanooga vs. No.7 Jacksonville (Ala.) State in arguably the most anticipated and talked about game in Chattanooga football history. An important region rivalry as a pair of top 10 FCS schools meet for the 39th time in the season opener for both schools. “This should be a great game between two of the best teams in ... (click for more)