Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students


Mark your calendar for this red-letter day

Whether it’s an electronic form or an old-fashioned pocket or wall version, most of us use a calendar to keep track of our personal and professional responsibilities. Often, important dates or holidays are pre-identified and color-coded in the calendars; we then manually enter important events or milestones. And really important events might get circled or indicated by some other highly noticeable mark.

Friends, if you haven’t already added March 16, 2020 to your calendar, I urge you to do so now.

During TEA’s first-ever tele-townhall meeting on September 5th, I announced that TEA will sponsor a Rally at the Capitol on Monday, March 16, 2020. On that call—in which nearly 20,000 members participated—I asked you about how useful you find TNReady results and how many of you must work an additional job (or jobs) in order to provide for your family. The response was overwhelming…and, sadly, unsurprising. Over 60% of those polled said that TNReady scores do not influence their classroom instruction. And almost 60% said that they work a second job to help make ends meet.

Tennessee, enough is enough.

We are done with excuses about the “fully funded BEP.” The BEP is broken. You and I know it, and we are going to make sure legislators know it, too.

We are taking action to fight for equitable and adequate funding for ALL public schools. We are demanding that the state do its part to ensure that students in ALL districts, including those in our most rural and chronically under-funded districts, have access to the resources they need to set them up for future success.

We are taking action to fight for the professional, living wage we deserve. We deserve better – and another round of promised raises from Nashville that never show up in paychecks won’t cut it. Legislators must pass a meaningful raise and put the necessary safeguards in place to ensure teachers actually receive that raise.

We are taking action to put an end to the test-and-punish system that unfairly targets teachers, students and schools based on TNReady scores. By putting an end to high-stakes decisions tied to TNReady scores, we can pull back on the time and money spent on test prep and instead get back to the business of teaching.

Mark your calendars, invite your family and friends, don some #RedforEd, and join me, educators, students, parents, community leaders, and legislators at the Rally for Our Schools on March 16, 2020. We’ll meet at the Capitol to demonstrate it’s time for our schools—our students and educators—to get the funding they deserve.