• Charter school applicants focus on younger students
    Of Metro’s nine charter applications, three are from organizations already operating charter schools in Nashville and wanting to expand. Five applicants hope to start elementary charter schools starting with kindergarten programs. One is proposing an all-boys middle and high school college preparatory program.
  • Too much rides on testing
    But for all the criticisms of standardized tests, there is a reason they are still here. They often do provide reliable and valid measures of individual student achievement in specific areas that we cannot find elsewhere.What we need to work toward is developing quality assessments on a more regular basis. This will provide more timely data and help guide classroom instruction.
  • It’s All In How You Define ‘Community’
    Start with simple logic: If diverse people are required to support a single system of schools, is it more likely to result in unity or conflict? And conflict is only one manifestation of the division caused by trying to bring diverse people under a single government umbrella. How do you overcome these very real problems through the education system? Let people choose schools – especially private schools – with the money that currently all goes to public schools.
  • Teachers need liberation from traditional pension plan
    Conventional defined-benefit pension systems lock teachers into their required number of years of service, and penalize them financially for bailing out. Furthermore, in systems based on seniority, teachers are even penalized for switching school districts. We need to bite the bullet and make what is surely the inevitable shift to a flexible, defined-contribution system that will liberate trapped teachers and encourage new talent to test the waters.
  • Senate Education Committee approves bill promoting growth of quality public charter schools
    The Senate Education Committee approved legislation to create an environment that promotes the growth of high quality public charter schools in Tennessee. Key provisions of the Senate Bill 1523 include:Removes the cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the stateAllows for open enrollment in charter schools; Gives preference in the application process to proposed charter schools that demonstrate a capability to support certain high-need populationsProvides the Achievement School District with the ability to authorize charter schools within the districtAllows for appeal of charter revocation or nonrenewal to State Board of Education except when those decisions are based on the current AYP accountability guidelines for charters; Removes “automatic repeal” provision so that there is no automatic sunset date on the charter law
  • What Works Clearing House – Tennessee Teacher Pay for Performance Study
    The study took place in the Metropolitan Nashville Public School District during the 2006–07 through 2008–09 school years. It analyzed data on about 24,000 students of 300 teachers who volunteered to participate in the study and received a stipend for doing so. Overall, the study found that students with math teachers who were offered the financial incentives exhibited math achievement growth that was no better or worse than students with teachers who were not offered the financial incentives.

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