Latest From the Legislature

Legislative Update – February 8, 2016

We love celebrating legislation that moves the ball down the field for every child in Tennessee. Tomorrow the House Education Instruction and Program Committee will hear HB 1537. This common sense legislation provides accountability and transparency for TNReady, and is the result of the state’s assessment task force. The bill reduces the number of state-required assessments by eliminating the 8th grade EXPLORE and the 10th grade PLAN assessment, requires the Department to release a portion of the test questions and student answers from the new TNReady assessment, and provides one voluntary ACT or SAT retake opportunity for all students – free of charge.

Email the Committee, ask them to support HB 1537, and thank them for protecting transparency and high-quality assessment Tennessee’s classrooms.

Aside from cheering them on and celebrating their successes, we need you to help call the plays. We have two bills up this week that can threaten the chances for Tennessee’s students to win in the classroom. We’ll list them below, with a brief summary, and then you’ll see a link to email the committee. Please take a few moments to email your elected officials and let them know you’re opposed to legislation that would throw the flag on success for our students.

Our first penalty flag? HB 1473. Many of you remember the effort to allow high school students to skip the ACT or SAT. This bad idea failed last year and it’s back again. The ACT is a great tool for students, teachers, and education leaders. It gives our students options for their future. It lets our teachers see an overall snap shot of where their students are. And it lets the state analyze the overall readiness for college. Opting out of the ACT only opts our students, teachers, and state out of future success and leads to an inaccurate picture of a district’s ability to prepare students for life after high school.

Email the House Instruction and Programs Subcommittee and urge them to oppose HB 1473. Every student in Tennessee deserves an opportunity to succeed and we must oppose short-sighted efforts that limit the options our students could have in the future.

HB 1794 is our next flag on the play. We are proud of the outstanding teachers in Tennessee’s classrooms. Studies show great teaching is the single greatest predictor of student success in the classroom and we know Tennessee is full of teachers who deserve to be rewarded for excellence in their field. That’s why we’re opposed to HB 1794. We should reward and incentivize the state’s best and highest achieving teachers rather than rewarding mediocrity. School districts shouldn’t have their hands tied by elected officials in determining how to reward their top teachers.

Email the House Instruction and Programs Subcommittee and ask them to oppose HB 1794 and instead support efforts that would reward Tennessee’s top teachers.

We’re glad you’re on our team and in the game for success with us. Thanks for cheering Tennessee’s kids along.

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