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.



Sterling Jetton Really Is Sterling

Sterling really is.  I have known him for over 40 years.   He is the person who the county needs for this position. Honesty, integrity, work ethic, knowledge and experience.  Charlie Rucker (click for more)

Security State Mentality Afflicts Christian Neighborhood Charity In Alton Park

Bethlehem Center is a charity and neighborhood center that has been pestered by young men who cavort on its grounds and sometimes intimidate patrons. The board, seeking to address what it sees as a pattern of trouble and harassment, is opting for a national economy solution to a local economy problem.  The private center on West 38th Street converted itself into a prison, ... (click for more)

Sheriff Watson Offers To Send Team To Colorado To Help With Search For Cleveland's Joe Keller; Active Search Suspended

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson has offered to send a Special Response Team, as well as other resources, to help Colorado authorities, who have suspended their search for 19-year-old Joseph Keller. He noted, "Joe Keller is a well-known young man who has lived in the Bradley County area, and disappeared while on a run in Conejos County, Colorado recently. " Sheriff ... (click for more)

Major AT&T Outage Strikes Chattanooga, Surrounding Areas; Verizon, T-Mobile Also Experience Outages In Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama

When AT&T subscribers tried to use their cell phones in North Georgia this afternoon, they got a message saying “Emergency Calls Only.”  On Signal Mountain, a terse “Network Busy” message popped up when they tried to use their phones.  They are not alone.  According to news reports in The Tennessean in Nashville and numerous other news sources, AT&T ... (click for more)

UTC Football: First Practice To A National Title

Monday was the first day of pre-season practice for the UTC football team with 33 days to the season opener with Jacksonville (Ala.) State and 159 days (Jan.9, 2016) to the FCS title game in Frisco, Texas. The last time UTC played in Texas was half a century ago at North Texas State (Denton) in 1966.   “The first day of practice is always exciting as it’s the start ... (click for more)

Jones Press Conference Kicks Off Vols' Preseason

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Coach Butch Jones held his preseason football press conference on Monday at Neyland Stadium. Jones heads into his third season with visible enthusiasm after the Vols finished off the 2014 season with an impressive win over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl, following that up with another nationally ranked recruiting class. "In terms of our football team, we ... (click for more)