Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students



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.”

TN teachers, students and parents are frustrated, lack confidence in TNReady

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.

AR Regional Retreat

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.

Gov. Haslam, Let's Beat Bama In Teacher Pay!

TEA continues to urge Gov. Bill Haslam and the state legislature to “Beat Bama” in teacher pay. With some millions in recurring revenue yet to be allocated, TEA is working to ensure more funds are dedicated to teacher salaries in the final budget version. 

The salary increase would be separate from the $30 million announced by the governor in a budget amendment recently, which would go to improving school safety. That amendment includes $25 million in one-time, nonrecurring funds and an additional $5.2 million dedicated to recurring school safety grants. 

Legislators reject proposal to expand ineffective, unpopular special ed voucher program

A bill that would have massively expanded the special education voucher program was defeated in a house subcommittee. If passed, the program would have expanded fourfold what TEA and special education professionals across the state see as an attempt to undermine the gains of inclusion and would have posed a risk to students. 

“Stopping the bill at its first vote shows we’re winning the opinion battle in the voucher fights,” said TEA chief lobbyist Jim Wrye. “We can’t rest when it comes to privatization, but it is heartening to see we are beating it earlier and earlier.”

Memphis Educator Earns International Recognition

Shelby County Schools teacher and longtime TEA member Melissa Collins was among 50 educators chosen from around the world as finalists for the Global Teacher Prize, awarded in Dubai March 18. 

Collins, a second-grade teacher at John P. Freeman Optional School in Whitehaven, was recognized by London-based Varkey Foundation, whose goal is to improve education standards for underprivileged children around the world. Collins was chosen from 30,000 applicants in 173 countries based on her effectiveness and inspiring students to learn.

PDPs in pajamas: TEA's professional development portal makes life easier

TEA members are now able to earn state-approved professional development points (PDPs) from the comfort of their own home through the TEA Professional Development Portal.

“TEA takes pride in our high quality professional development, and now we can offer it to all members anytime, anywhere,” said TEA President Barbara Gray. “The new online learning portal is free and available exclusively to TEA members.”

TEA fights State Board licensure overreach

How would you feel if your teaching license was suspended for a year, and your career destroyed, because you arrived 30 minutes late to one of your high school classes? Is that worth a career? It’s a recent example of licensure action taken by the State Board of Education (SBE), and this teacher’s career was saved because the educator was a TEA member. 

TEA lawyers pushed back, and the year-long suspension was dropped.