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Legislative Update – Week of April 17, 2017

Three Things Monday. (Sounds like a good idea for a new hashtag!) We’ll be quick this week with three highlights from our work to protect and advance student success in Tennessee.

1) In classrooms across the state, the window for TNReady is open! From today to May 7th, during specific school district testing times, Tennessee’s 3rd – 8th graders will pick up their pencils and papers to show us what they’ve mastered all year. Many of our high school students will be testing, too.

We’re sharing tips for teachers, parents, and students on our social feeds. We hope you’ll share these with those in the TNReady window in your life. Feel free to drop us a note for more details regarding specific testing times for your district. 

2) In case you missed it last week, House Bill 308 passed both chambers and is on the way to the Governor’s desk to become law. HB 308 is a great step toward strengthening 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.

We look forward to seeing how HB 308, and other bills, helps every student in Tennessee have a greater opportunity to succeed. 

3) House Bill 310 will be heard in the House this week. We’re in support of HB 310 because we believe it will help to ensure high quality schools for every Tennessee student. It also makes certain local school districts are reimbursed for the administrative costs they incur while authorizing and managing charter schools within their districts. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for information as it happens.

You are always welcome to join us at the General Assembly! Email us (info@tnsuccess.org) if you’d like to be a part of the action this week and we’ll make it happen. 

One last thing (so Four Things Monday!). We’re gearing up for another great summer of Tristar Reads! There are some big changes to Tristar Reads this year and we can’t wait to tell you about them. Stay tuned!

Legislative Update – Week of April 10, 2017

Easter is around the corner and we know things are probably hopping at your house, so we’ll quickly let you know what’s hatching this week. As always, let us know if you have any questions and we’ll make sure we get back to you and not lay an egg (we’re done with Easter puns now).

Some great news! Over the past several months, we’ve shared concerns about legislation that would be harmful to Tennessee classrooms and to student success.

We’re glad to let you know the following bills have been taken off notice and not expected to come up for a vote this session:

House Bill 354 – hamstring the work of the Achievement School District – taken off notice
House Bill 353 – prevent smart, planned growth of the ASD – taken off notice
House Bill 570 – introduce partisan politics to management of local school districts – taken off notice
House Bill 793 – limit the work to recruit and retain successful superintendents – taken off notice
House Bill 795 – establish untested process to review and potentially undermine the state’s accountability system – taken off notice
House Bill 1104 – prevent each student in Tennessee from a top-notch education and undermines the work of parents and teachers across the state to establish Tennessee-specific academic standards – taken off notice
House Bill 1129 – limit school board ability to address failing schools – taken off notice
House Bill 1312 – prevent measurement and growth of students in early grades – taken off notice

As you can see, it’s been a busy legislative session so far. We can’t thank you enough for your work in helping make sure these bills didn’t become law.

One last thing, House Bill 308 was up for a vote in the House tonight. We’re excited to let you know it’s now unanimously passed both the House and Senate, and is on the way to the Governor for his signature. We’re in favor of this legislation and are encouraged by the efforts to strengthen accountability for everyone involved in the classroom.

Thanks for all you continue to do for Tennessee’s students. We hope you have a egg-stra  special Easter!

Tennesseans for Student Success: Ensuring Opportunity for Every Tennessee Student

TENNESSEANS FOR STUDENT SUCCESS ON ESSA SUBMISSION
Plan to Bolster Opportunity for Success for Every Tennessee Student 

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Education today released their updated and federally submitted Every Student Succeeds Act plan. Ensuring every student in Tennessee is ready for success in their next steps toward their college, career, or military choices, the ESSA plan focuses on accountability, school improvement, support for English learners and historically underserved populations, and strengthening teacher and principal pipelines.

Tennessee’s students have twice been named the fastest improving in the nation in education and this plan is another strong step toward solidifying and strengthening continued student success,” said Tennesseans for Student Success President and CEO Adam Lister. “When you focus on accountability for everyone involved in the classroom, turning around failing schools, reducing test times, making sure every student has an opportunity to succeed, and supporting professional growth, you have a formula for success.

Today’s plan contains six key updates which highlight the state’s focus on college, career, and military readiness for all Tennessee students:

-School Accountability
-District Accountability
-School Improvement
-English Learners
-Assessment Reduction
-Teachers, Principals Pipeline

Lister continued, “We are encouraged by the thoughtful engagement that went into the updated ESSA plan. Throughout this process over 5,000 comments were submitted by working groups, regional town halls, and from 1,000 Tennesseans. Tennessee’s ESSA plan, one of the best in the country, reflects the will and drive of Tennessee’s citizens to continue the work of continued student success.”