Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students

            

MORE THAN A TEST SCORE

TEA-backed bills that focus on students and educators - not high-stakes tests - moving in Legislature

PE bill fixes problems with 2016 law, returns control to districts

Every elementary school teacher knows that physical activity is a good thing for students. 

A new proposal this session could restructure physical activity requirements for Tennessee students after legislation passed in 2016 created more problems than it solved.

OUR NEXT FIGHT: TEACHER ASSOCIATION TAX

Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) has found a new approach to attacking TEA and local associations.

Her proposed legislation would allow a 10 percent withholding tax on associations. 

“While we know that deduction of association dues constitutes no expense to the school districts, it’s obvious that this bill is a teacher tax and a direct attack on our association,” said TEA President Barbara Gray. “Last year, we defeated similar attacks by out-of-state special interests three times, and now they are back with new tricks.”

STATE ANNOUNCES TESTING CHANGES

Some changes in testing are looming on the horizon, one brought to you by the State Department of Education, and another—a less certain one—proposed in the General Assembly.

The department announced last week it will cut the time spent on science and social studies tests in the third and fourth grades by 50 percent, while focusing more on reading assessments. 

Community Schools: How to Really Love Our Students

By Beth Brown, TEA Vice President and Grundy County Educator

In the back of my classroom hangs a canvas titled “How to Really Love a Student,” a colorful daily reminder for me to show my students “an abundance of understanding, patience, and grace”; to “encourage their abilities, talents, and gifts”; and to “love them as they are today…and also for who they will become.”

State's flawed graduation data advances "failing schools" narrative for privatizers

Flawed information damaging to schools is the last thing that should come from the state Department of Education. Yet there was a damning report released by the SDE on Tennessee’s graduation rate that turned out to be false. 

The state report claimed that approximately one-third of Tennessee high school graduates received a diploma without meeting the state’s requirements. The harmful report made headlines statewide and was even picked up in national news outlets.

TENNESSEANS STRONGLY REJECT VOUCHERS BY MORE THAN TWO-TO-ONE

Comprehensive polling data of 6,510 likely voters shows rural, urban and suburban voters statewide oppose vouchers. 
Polling includes oversample of Republican primary voters. 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -  Tennesseans strongly reject private school vouchers, according to the largest and most comprehensive polling data on the subject. TEA extensively surveyed rural, urban and suburban voters in all three Grand Divisions of the state, with an oversample of highly-likely Republican primary voters. The polls were conducted May through October of 2016. 

PARENT, COMMUNITY SUPPORT KEY TO PROTECTING PUBLIC EDUCATION

Nothing demonstrated the power of support from parents and community better than the fight against school vouchers in the 2016 legislative session, and their support of Tennessee public schools and teachers is even stronger this year. 

Community groups like Students, Parents, Educators Across Knox County (SPEAK), Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence (TREE), and the Middle Tennessee Coalition Advocating for Public Education (CAPE) were instrumental in helping beat out-of-state privatizers with their school voucher schemes for the fourth year in a row. 

AT ITS CORE, TENURE IS ABOUT BASIC FAIRNESS

Click here for a printable flier to post in your teachers' lounge.

Teaching is often a challenging profession.

Studying best practices in public education has proven that having a fair and orderly process for issues that may arise helps teachers be the best professionals they can be.

Yet there is great confusion statewide among educators, administrators and local school boards on the status of teacher tenure in Tennessee.

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