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Professional Educators of Tennessee
state of the state
Updated March 4, 2019
Tennessee’s new governor unveils a ‘choice-friendly’ proposed budget including vouchers, charter school support
Gov. Bill Lee outlines his priorities and policies as he unveils his first proposed budget and delivers his first State of the State address.
Updated March 4, 2019
Teacher pay, school vouchers among possibilities when Tennessee governor rolls out spending plan
Gov. Bill Lee will unveil his first proposed budget and deliver his first State of the State address on Monday.
Updated January 17, 2019
Lee picks Texas academic chief Penny Schwinn as Tennessee’s next education commissioner
The choice is one of the last and most important cabinet picks for governor-elect Bill Lee, who made education a top priority on the campaign trail.
Updated August 22, 2018
Haslam will hit the road to troubleshoot Tennessee’s testing problems
The outgoing governor responds to a barrage of criticism of the state’s testing program by announcing a “listening tour” aimed at fixing TNReady.
April 19, 2018
Tennessee lawmakers take matters into their own hands on TNReady testing problems
After more testing problems, the legislature votes to pull TNReady scores from this year’s accountability systems for students, teachers, schools, districts.
August 9, 2017
Tennessee teachers are warming to evaluations as a tool to improve their work, survey says
The state’s latest educator survey shows that 75 percent of teachers found evaluations helpful last year in improving their teaching, almost double from 2012.
December 7, 2016
Tennessee teachers group cautions Alexander about Trump’s pick for ed chief
The Professional Educators of Tennessee expresses reservations about Betsy DeVos because of her support for vouchers and lack of public school experience.
Dealing with dyslexia
March 14, 2016
Parents push for more screening, support for students with dyslexia
Parents across the state push for a bill that would require early screening for dyslexia, which affects up to one in five children.
December 17, 2014
Lipscomb dean will replace Huffman
A top official at one of Tennessee’s premier education schools will become Tennessee’s new education commissioner, Gov. Bill Haslam announced today.
November 7, 2013
Tennessee students lead the nation in growth on NAEP
Tennessee students made some of the largest gains in the country in this year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the so-called "nation's report card." Tennessee is "one of the few bright spots" in the NAEP data this year, said Erik Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Most states' scores increased by just one point in 4th and 8th grade math and 4th grade reading and by three points on 8th grade reading between 2011 and 2013. But scores for both 4th and 8th grade students in Tennessee jumped between 4 and 7 points in each of the tested subjects. “It's hard to move the needle on all four grades and subjects unless you're really doing something,” said Jack Buckley, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers NAEP. In Tennessee, as elected officials planned press conferences today celebrating the increased scores that were released this morning, educators debated what, exactly, may have caused the growth. Both the District of Columbia and Tennessee schools have been home to dramatic reforms in teacher compensation and evaluation in recent years, and were among the early adopters of policies that tie teacher pay and evaluations to student test scores. But similar policies are in place around the country now. National Assessment A national representative sample of 342,000 8th graders and 377,000 4th graders took the reading and math tests early this year. More data from the 2013 tests, including national scores for 12th graders in reading and math, will be released in the coming months. Individual schools' and students' scores on NAEP are not publicized. While each state has its own standardized test, each of which has changed over time, the NAEP remains relatively constant and is designed to allow for comparisons to be made between states and over time. State and education leaders use the data to compare where states fall academically and how different groups of students fare within their states. The data are also frequently used to make claims about national education progress compared to other countries, with some experts saying, for instance, that low NAEP scores are a threat to national security. On the 2013 test, Tennessee students made the largest gains in the country in 4th and 8th grade reading. Tennessee 4th and 8th graders' math test score gains outpaced every state except for the District of Columbia. Tennessee, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools were the only jurisdictions that saw increases in both tested subjects in both tested grades. (See chart below for more detail.) Tennessee leads the nation in growth, but big disparities remain | Infographics Referendum on Reforms?
October 29, 2013
Nashville asks to drop student surveys from evals — for now
Nashville's schools chief has asked the state to exclude this fall's student survey results from teachers' evaluations this year, citing a "problematic" rollout. Jesse Register said the measure should be excluded from evaluations for the moment because teachers had not gotten to see the first round of survey results until this week. But he told teachers and principals in an email this afternoon that he stands by the survey, called TRIPOD, as "one of the most valid and reliable measures" that the district uses in its teacher evaluations. Under Tennessee's new teacher evaluation system, survey results factor into some teachers' annual ratings. (Memphis has used the survey in its teacher evaluation system for years.) The Gates Foundation-funded Measures of Effective Teaching study found that student feedback and teacher observations combined were more closely correlated with teacher effectiveness than observations alone, or any number of other attributes of teachers. But teachers in Tennessee and beyond have criticized the measure, arguing that it could give teachers an incentive to put student approval ahead of student learning.
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