The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a 5-4 decision in a case that had been bankrolled by corporate interests in an effort to make it even harder for working people to come together and speak up for each other. The case, Janus v. American Federation of County, State Municipal Employees, Council 31, sought to overturn common sense jurisprudence that was established more than 40 years ago in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
The Tennessee Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education (TEA-FCPE) has endorsed Beth Harwell in the Republican Primary for Governor, and Craig Fitzhugh in the Democratic Primary for Governor. TEA-FCPE is the political action committee of TEA, the state’s largest professional association.
The victory of passing hold-harmless legislation has members and parents asking what the next step is in addressing the problems of TNReady, confusing portfolios, discrepancies in state scores compared to ACT, and a variety of other critical Tennessee education issues. That step is electing people ready to work on solutions.
“It’s not about Republicans or Democrats, it’s about educators,” said Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesboro) on the Nashville five o’clock news. Hill’s statement came during the final battle to remove remaining issues with TNReady data use, and highlighted TEA’s political efforts to build pro-public education majorities in the General Assembly.
The bill requiring Kindergarten and Pre-K teachers are held harmless for portfolio scores in the 2017-18 school year passed both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly unanimously and was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam April 18.
In a historic show of unanimity and bipartisanship, a united Tennessee House of Representatives demanded that teachers are not damaged in any way by the failure of TNReady.
TEA has worked closely with the House, whose leadership has been responsive to members, and it’s the chamber where good things start and bad bill die. Every member is encouraged to thank their representative today.
Before the hold-harmless victory in TN legislature, Tennessee Department of Education issued the following guidance on teacher evaluation.
With TEA support, legislators move quickly to safeguard students, teachers from TNReady failures
The General Assembly passed strong hold-harmless legislation for test data as TEA and parents across the state pushed for relief as TNReady continued to experience problems for another year.
“The legislature made sure students, teachers and schools were protected against the failures of TNReady,” said TEA lobbyist Jim Wrye. “They heard from their districts and they saw the problems, and in the waning days of the session took decisive action.”
TEA and its members are extremely disappointed with the failures and delays of the state online assessment system, TNReady. TEA is calling for a full and accurate accounting of the problems and how they affect students, along with proof that the system is secure and fair to Tennessee’s parents and teachers. The association is calling on lawmakers to hold students, teachers and schools harmless in light of the failures and growing concerns of the state testing system.
The AR Retreat is an annual event to train Local Officers and Association Representatives (ARs) how to recruit, retain, and engage members/potential members and build a network for action to promote public education within their local associations.