Monthly Archives: March 2017

Weekly Update – Week of March 20, 2017

ith the vernal equinox, spring is in bloom! Our days feel a bit longer and the end of another school year is on the horizon. It’s an exciting time of year.

If you saw our latest Facebook Live, you know the pace is beginning to pick up in Nashville. Most of the 300 education bills are through the subcommittee process and are working through their full committees. Some bills have even been passed in the full House or Senate.

As always, we wanted to give you a quick look at where the bills we’re watching are this week. Drop us a note (info@tnsuccess.org) if you have any questions.

House Bill 308 – A strong step toward greater accountability and transparency in all our classrooms, this legislation updates Tennessee’s district and school accountability requirements. The bill takes student growth and achievement into account when measuring student performance, requires local school districts to create a comprehensive support plan for Priority Schools, and ensures that students with disabilities are included in their school’s graduation rates.

House Bill 174 – A successful classroom needs a successful teacher.  A successful teacher must have a successful administrator. By restricting who can evaluate educators and by limiting what information can be used in teacher evaluations, our teachers won’t have a full look at their work for the year. HB 174 would tie the hands of local administrators and school officials to retain the best teachers in our classrooms.

Tennesseans for Student Success is opposed to HB 174.

House Bill 570 – Just like the bill above, HB 570 would tie the hands of local school boards making it more difficult for them to attract the best, most competent administrators to serve as superintendents. It also politicizes district leadership, which we believe should stop at a school’s front door.

Tennesseans for Student Success is opposed to HB 570.

House Bill 793 – We need the best administrators and best school superintendents for our students, teachers, and classrooms. This legislation places arbitrary limits on a superintendent’s salary limiting a local school board’s ability to recruit and retain the best leaders for our schools.

Tennesseans for Student Success is opposed to HB 793.

House Bill 795 – Tennessee’s teacher evaluation system is considered one of the top in the country for its use of multiple measures – including classroom observation and student growth data. Laws affecting teachers, students, and classrooms shouldn’t change without compelling, factual evidence and thoughtful methodologies.

Tennesseans for Student Success is opposed to HB 795.

House Bill 1312 – If a student isn’t reading on grade level by the 3rd grade, their opportunity for success  drops drastically. We can’t wait until 3rd grade to know if our students are reading, achieving, and growing. HB 1312 would prohibit the optional, and often valuable, early grade assessments from taking place in any classroom in the state. It is important to have an accountability system that supports academic growth for all our students. This legislation stands in the way of that growth.

Tennesseans for Student Success is opposed to HB 1312.

There are two bills up this week we are watching. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for more information – including Committee hearing times.

House Bill 449, the school rating framework, is up this week in the House Education Administration and Planning Committee on March 21st. Tennesseans for Student Success was opposed to HB 449 with its previous amendment, but is currently watching proposed changes to the bill.

House Bill 1039, the bill the changes the way local communities elect their school boards, is up this week in the House Local Government Subcommittee on March 21st. Tennesseans for Student Success is opposed to HB 1039.

 

We hope your spring blooms full of success. Thank you for all you do to make sure every student in Tennessee has an opportunity to succeed.

Weekly Update – Week of March 13, 2017

There’s good news out of the General Assembly and it’s good to share these victories for student success. Every few weeks, we’ll update you on the status of bills we’ve shared. You can always check our Facebook and Twitter accounts, too. We share some great stuff on those pages and we’d hate for you to be missing out.

Let’s celebrate these bills moving one step closer to passage in both the House and the Senate:

House Bill 309 – We support a Tennessee-specific assessment that’s aligned to Tennessee-specific standards. That’s why we support House Bill 309, which adjusts how TNReady scores are weighted for teacher evaluations and how TNReady end-of-course scores are weighted in high school students’ final grades.

We are happy to pass along HB 309 passed Administration and Planning Subcommittee and is in the full committee this week!

House Bill 310 provides funding for charter school facilities, establishes an authorizer fee charter schools would pay districts, clarifies the length a charter school can operate, and outlines the process for the closure of a low-performing charter school. We believe in parents having choices in public education and we believe in accountability, transparency for success. We support HB 310.

HB 310 passed Instruction and Planning Committee last week and will be heard in the Government Operations Committee this week!

House Bill 67 reaffirms a key truth in student success: everyone involved in the classroom must be accountable for the success of that classroom. When measuring success, and placing an emphasis on accountability, we know that for students – and teachers – it isn’t one size fits all. That’s why we support HB 67 and the use of alternative growth models for local school districts.

A win for teachers, students, and the success of every classroom, HB 67 passed the full House and will be up next in the Senate!

House Bill 1129 is a threat to the very notion that every child in Tennessee – regardless of zip code – deserves an equal opportunity to succeed. The Achievement School District provides opportunity for Tennessee’s kids trapped in failing schools. This legislation is a shortsighted attempt to weaken the ASD’s ability to successfully turn around failing schools.

We oppose HB 1129 and are happy to report the bill was taken off notice in the House last week!

Before we let you go, we wanted to share with you what’s on the calendar this week. We were thrilled to welcome educators to several committee hearings last week and wanted to make sure to extend that invitation to you. Join us any time for a fun day of committee hearings, legislative meetings, and fun. Letting your voice be heard is a key part of working for student success. Drop us a note at info@tnsuccess.org if you want to spend a few hours with us.

Up this week:

House Bill 308 – We talk a lot about accountability in the classroom for everyone involved in the classroom. HB 308 continues that theme. This legislation requires the state board of the Tennessee Department of Education to establish goals for schools and districts based on achievement and growth. It provides a more accurate approach to success in the classroom. It clarifies the process and requirements for district-led interventions. HB 308 is a strong step toward full accountability and transparency in all our classrooms.

Tennesseans for Student Success supports House Bill 308.

House Bill 795 – Accountability is a theme around here – so much so that it’s one of our four key policy principles – and we are quick to jump in to support any measure that champions success. House Bill 795 is not one of those measures. Tennessee’s teacher evaluation system is considered one of the top in the country for its use of multiple measures – including teacher evaluations and student growth data. Laws effecting teachers, students, and classrooms shouldn’t change without compelling, factual evidence and thoughtful methodologies.

Tennesseans for Student Success opposes House Bill 795.

House Bill 793 – Local communities should be able to recruit and retain the best teachers, faculty, and administration that will help their students be successful. HB 793 ties the hands of local education authorities and could keep the best leaders out of our schools.

Tennesseans for Student Success opposes House Bill 793.

Stay tuned for another update on where we are in the legislative process. Bringing you good legislative news is one of our favorite things, because we know that means our students, teachers, parents, and classrooms will be getting good legislation that focuses on student success. Thank you for taking this legislative look with us.