TN Legislative Corner
Last week, TSS held our third annual Day on the Hill, which was a rousing success. Around 65 advocates, students, parents, and teachers with diverse backgrounds were in attendance to advocate for the success of all students in the state of Tennessee. We’re grateful for every legislator and thought leader who was able to meet with us and share about the work they’re doing to improve our state. Read below to hear more about the event.
The House Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Subcommittee (CTI) heard testimonies from several teachers on HB 1687/SB 1735. This bill proposes to eliminate academic standards for science and social studies in kindergarten through grade two. These teachers weighed in and highlighted the importance of maintaining high standards and the current flexibility that exists to incorporate multiple standards into literacy instruction. The concerns expressed by committee members reinforce that we all agree on improving educational outcomes for students, particularly building a strong foundation in early literacy, is an urgent matter. We oppose this bill because eliminating will not solve this challenge. CTI ran out of time and will continue this important debate on Tuesday.
Watch Mary Owen Holmes, a high school history teacher from Nashville, testify her opposition to this bill. Take a look at a screen recording of her opening remarks here.
There was some movement on quite a few education bills last week and we expect the next several weeks to be busy with about a month left for committee work. Catch up on committee action on education bills here.
In other Tennessee news, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill to officially recognize Tennessee as the “Volunteer State!” For a complete list of education legislation filed by the 111th 2019-2020 General Assembly, click here.
A Successful TSS Day on the Hill
Our #TSSDayontheHill2020 was quite a success, and we want to thank every person that was involved! We were thrilled to bring educators, advocates, and students from around the state to visit the Tennessee State Capitol to talk with Tennessee lawmakers about the great things happening in our schools and how we can work together to ensure every student has an opportunity to a great public education.
Couldn’t make our Day on the Hill? Be a part of Tennesseans across the state raising their voice for students. We’ve created an easy way for you to contact your elected officials. Take a look around our site for advocacy and policy engagement, get signed up, and share your support.
Read our full statement on the day from President and CEO Adam Lister here.
Protecting Accountability with Mrs. Marshall
For students to succeed, there must be accountability for everyone involved in the classroom. How do we hold everyone accountable? We measure success. Whether it’s student assessments, district report cards, teacher evaluations, or scorecards for legislators, we measure what we want to improve. Then we report those measures accurately and transparently, ensuring the tools for growth are available, and the focus remains on improving outcomes for students.
Mrs. Tameka Marshall, a third-grade teacher from Norman Binkley Elementary School, shares about the impact accountability has on the measurements and metrics used to capture growth among her students. Click here to watch the video.
Hearing from Student’s About #CTEMonth
The students featured below are just a few of the individuals we’ve spoken with this month on the impact their CTE program has had on their preparedness for their future. These students are excited about learning and the opportunities that are ahead of them.
From left to right: Nick is in the culinary arts program at Nashville State Community College in Nashville. Austin is in the robotics program at Cleveland High School in Cleveland. Andreya is in the therapeutic services program at West Creek High School in Clarksville.
Calendar of Events
February 19th – President’s Day [State Offices Closed]
February 18th – 10:30AM: House Higher Education Subcommittee
In Case You Missed It…
- Times Free Press: Researcher highlights possible solutions to school-to-prison pipeline in Hamilton County
- Chalkbeat: Legislator asks Tennessee comptroller to investigate voucher funding and ClassWallet contract
- Knox News Sentinel: Knox County, other East Tennessee school systems closed Tuesday as flood threats loom
- Herald-Citizen: School board approves director search committee
- The Commerical Appeal: A new report card sheds light on Tennessee’s problems recruiting and retaining teachers
- Cleveland Daily Banner: Four CSCC students rank among best in math students in Tennessee
- Kingsport Times News: Tennessee university to offer tuition discounts to students in surrounding states
- The Daily Herald: Schwinn: Mental health a top priority for Tennessee students