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Weekly Update – Week of March 27, 2017

Good news! We’re sharing three great bills for student success that are on the Senate Education Committee’s calendar. Bad news? They are up with almost 100 other pieces of legislation in that committee and might not be heard this week, but we want to be sure you know when good things happen. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for up-to-date information.

Senate Bill 1196 / House Bill 309: Passing the House floor unanimously last week (did you see our statement on the passage?), this TNReady bill is ready to start the Senate process. SB 1196 highlights the Tennessee-specific standards aligned to the Tennessee-specific assessment given once a year. It adjusts how heavily TNReady will be weighted in teacher evaluations and how heavily it will be weighted in high school students’ final grades.

Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill.

Senate Bill 1198 / House Bill 308: Accountability is a key priority for us. We know that when everyone involved in the classroom is accountable for the growth, achievement, and success of that classroom, students, teachers, parents, administrators, and communities win. SB 1198 is a great step toward strengthening that accountability by requiring performance goals for schools and districts, allowing for student achievement and student growth to factor into the criteria for the priority list, clarifying the process for district-led interventions, and setting the time a school can stay in the Achievement School District.

Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill.

Senate Bill 1197 / House Bill 310: We believe in public school choice. We also believe in accountability. That’s we why support SB 1197 which provides funding for charter school facilities, establishes an authorizer fee charter schools would pay the district, clarifies the length a charter can operate, outlines the process for the loss of a charter school, and provides greater transparency around how public dollars are spent to support students. We believe in parents having choices in public education and we believe in accountability, transparency for success.

Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill.

We look forward to championing these three bills with you in the Senate Education Committee. They are strong pieces of legislation that uphold our priorities and support student success. We’re glad to support them.

Thanks for all you do to help us champion Tennessee’s kids.

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.