Inside TNSuccess

Weekly Update – March 6, 2017

We’re officially off to the races in the world of education legislation. Bills are being heard. Amendments are being added. And we’re right in the middle of it all and ready to bring the work of the General Assembly into your hands.

This week’s legislation is a mix of bills we support and those we oppose. We position each bill based on our four policy principles and by asking a simple question – will this legislation move Tennessee’s kids, teachers, and classrooms forward? With that answer in hand, we start our legislative work each week.

Without further delay:

House Bill 309 – We believe in the value of a Tennessee-specific assessment, aligned to our Tennessee-specific standards, that gives our kids the opportunity to show what they know. As students and teachers become more comfortable with this new, once yearly statewide assessment, it is important that the weight given to TNReady grow incrementally each year. HB 309 adjusts how heavily TNReady scores are weighted for teacher evaluations and how heavily TNReady end-of-course scores are weighted in high school students’ final grades. It will be heard in the House Education Administration and Planning Subcommittee Tuesday at 3:00pm.

Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill.

House Bill 310 – Back on the calendar from last week, House Bill 310 is the High Quality Charter Schools Act requiring charter schools to adhere to national standards of authorization, sets the length a charter school may operate at 10 years, clarifies charter enrollment procedures, outlines a process for charter accountability and revocation, and allows the local education authority to collect an authorizer fee. HB 310 will be heard in the House Education Instruction and Programs Committee Tuesday at 12:00 pm.

Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill.

House Bill 1039 – We have long said that politics should stop at a school’s front door. HB 1039 proposes establishing partisan school board elections across the state putting the focus on alignment with a political ideology and not on the policies that are actually driving improvements in student growth and achievement. Less than 1% of school boards nationwide elect their members through partisan elections and there is no fact-based evidence that such a change in the way Tennessee’s citizens choose their school board members would help our kids. With all the work done to make Tennessee the fastest improving state in the nation in education, with all the success in our classrooms, we can’t leave this work up to winds of partisan politics. HB 1039 will be heard in the House Local Government Subcommittee Tuesday at 3:00 pm.

Tennesseans for Student Success opposes this bill. 

Thank you for being engaged in this important and life-changing work. We couldn’t do it without you.

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