Tennessee Education Association Executive Director Alphonso C. (Al) Mance is retiring after 29 years with the association. Mance served as an assistant executive director prior to being promoted to executive director in 1999.
TEA and NEA submitted the following letter to the editor in response to the Chattanooga Times Free Press attacking the association in its Sunday editorial, "Union fails teachers."
TEA Supports Teachers and Students
We have all heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” That statement is as applicable today as it was when it was first shared centuries ago in an African proverb. Many people make up your village and it is important to recognize their contributions to your child’s life.
As a mother of two young adults, I had two villages – one for each child. Family members, friends, teachers, coaches and many others all played a part in making my children into the successful, well-rounded adults they are today.
Thanks to you, several friends of public education were elected to the Tennessee General Assembly, including two TEA members. Thank you for all of the calls, hours of canvassing, and countless conversations you’ve had with your colleagues and families about what was at stake for public education in this election.
The State Department of Education awarded its 2012-13 Teacher of the Year awards last night. Allyson Chick, a Memphis elementary teacher and TEA member, was named the 2012-13 Teacher of the Year and was recognized as the finalist for the West Grand Division. TEA members Renda Crowe and Mary Pitner were recognized as the East Grand Division and Middle Grand Division finalists respectively. Crowe is a high school teacher in Blount County. Pitner is an elementary teacher in Bedford County.
The TEA Fund for Children and Public Education has endorsed candidates statewide who support public education. Endorsements are made based on interviews and questionnaires between the candidates, the local association and the TEA Fund.
A new law, Public Chapter 1020, passed by the legislature in 2012 requires all teachers-of-record for courses in which there are state-level end-of-course (EOC) exams to carry a subject-specific endorsement for the subject area of the class. Teachers of EOC classes who don’t have the required endorsement on their license must “demonstrate sufficient content knowledge in the course material by taking, at the teacher’s own expense, and by passing a standardized or criterion-referenced test for the content area.”
By Gera Summerford
The new film “Won’t Back Down” introduces a new-to-most concept of parent-trigger laws – laws that enable parents at a school to call for the firing of teachers, closing the school, or turning it over to a private charter school operator.
The film suggests that the best way for parents to improve their child’s education is to use the parent-trigger law to “take over” the school and hand control over to a charter school. The film never takes into account the reality that parent-trigger laws have no track record of success.
Delegates to the 2012 TEA Representative Assembly passed a new business item requiring members who wish to continue to receive teach as a printed publication mailed to their homes to indicate this preference. Members who do not indicate they wish to receive a printed copy of each issue of teach will receive future issues electronically, provided TEA has a current email address for them.
Please click here to submit your preference for receiving future issues of teach.
The Tennessee Department of Education’s decision this week to withhold more than $3 million from Metro Nashville Public Schools is yet another example of the state overreaching and taking control away from locally elected school boards.
“It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the department is punishing a local school board for doing what it thinks is best for its community,” said Gera Summerford, Sevier County math teacher and TEA president. “Just this spring the state was adamant about the importance of local control for student success in Tennessee’s public schools.”