February 22, 2016
If you went to our Facebook page last week, you probably saw our #ShowYourLove for Teachers posts. We’re glad you joined in on the celebration and thanked the teachers in your life. We certainly enjoyed getting to highlight the teachers who made a great difference to us. If you haven’t seen them, we hope you head to our Facebook page and take a look at our staff tributes.
Teaching is tough and we are thankful for the men and women who come to our classrooms every day ready to lead Tennessee’s students to success. The variables of any given day are tough. Together with other education advocacy groups, we are proud of the work we do to help minimize those variables so Tennessee’s teachers can get to the noble business at hand – giving every student a top-notch Tennessee education that prepares them for success in their next steps.
That’s why we are so supportive of the news announced last week to give Tennessee teachers a choice in whether or not this year’s TNReady scores are used in their evaluations. TNReady will measure what students actually know and learned this year, and while it is a transition year, we want teachers to be able to use the data when their students do well on this year’s assessment. We talked about the good of this directive (and a link to the Governor’s announcement) to take away some of the uncertainty for Tennessee’s teachers. We hope you’ll take a look and share it with your networks.
Because we believe more time spent on educating and preparing all of Tennessee’s students for life out of our schools means more students are ready for success, we also believe politics should stop at our school’s front door. Teachers and students don’t need the distractions of political whims – they need a clear mission, the tools to accomplish it, and a clear path to success.
To that end, we are opposed to Senate Bill 1606, up this week in the Senate Education Committee.
School districts should have every avenue available to them to choose the best, the most successful, and the most talented leaders for their students, teachers, parents, and classrooms. Politics shouldn’t tie the hand of the good work done in Tennessee’s classrooms as they continue to be the fastest improving state in the nation. There’s no good reason to limit success.
We’re also continuing to watch House Bill 1737. This legislation would also tie the hands of local education authorities to hire and retain the best and most skilled public servants. We’ll continue to watch this bill as it moves through the Senate Education Committee.