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.



I Know Kenny Smith

I’m writing in response to comments by City Councilman Larry Grohn about Kenny Smith. I don’t know Mr. Grohn, but I know Kenny Smith.  Kenny told me he met Grohn once but doesn’t know him.   If Grohn really knew Kenny Smith, he’d know Kenny pushed for expanded vocational education while on the School Board and is intent on pushing for it on the County Commission. ... (click for more)

Keep Judge Christie Sell On The Bench

Judge Christie Mahn Sell is a local Chattanoogan who has never been anything but a positive and influential leader in our community. I have known Christie most of my life, and I can attest to her integrity and character. Since Christie’s election as the first woman judge to General Sessions Court in 2006, she has focused on improving awareness and education of domestic violence ... (click for more)

EPB Says It Did Not Overbill The City; Says City Got $685,877 Break

EPB officials said Tuesday that an exhaustive audit of its street light contract with the city showed that it did not overbill the city. Instead, it said it found that the city was underbilled $685,877. EPB said it only goes back one year on errors so the amount owed by the city would be $178,314. Officials said that would be discussed with the city. Stan Sewell, the city's ... (click for more)

Citizens To Comment Next Tuesday On Sound Control Ordinance That Allows Higher Sound Around Downtown Clubs

Citizens will be allowed to comment next Tuesday on a new Sound Control Ordinance that allows higher sound from nightclubs in a downtown Controlled Sound Boundary. Track 29 behind the Chattanooga Choo Choo, that has drawn the wrath of some nearby Southside residents, is within the boundary, which goes along the river on the north and west, to around Erlanger Hospital on the ... (click for more)

Vols Open 2018 Season Against West Virginia In Charlotte

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.   – The Charlotte Sports Foundation announced Tuesday that the Tennessee Volunteers will open the 2018 season on September 1 against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. All information related to kickoff date, time and tickets will be announced at ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Williams Signs With Northwest Missouri

Ooltewah’s Mike Williams, one of District 5-AAA’s most respected wide receiver threats in 2013, has signed a football scholarship with Northwest Missouri State, the defending NCAA Division II national champion. Williams chose the Bearcats, members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, over Carson-Newman, in Jefferson City, Tenn., and Paine College, in Augusta ... (click for more)