• Splitting Hairs on the Cadaver
    Bottom line: There’s little evidence that either spending money or “accountability” has worked. Why the futility? Because federal policy is ultimately driven by what makes politicians look best, which at first was spending dough to show they cared, then making unrealistic, inevitably gamed demands to show that they cared in kind of a tough-guy way. And whether any of these things eventually translated into academic success has meant nothing for the politicians who voted for them because few voters connect failure to individual pols.
  • A Little Investment for a Huge Return
    Parents genuinely want the best for their children. My taking the time to understand family strengths and challenges had huge returns in my class. While this takes some investment, by simply equipping parents with the tools they need to support their children’s education, we can enable student achievement that goes beyond the classroom. By thinking more broadly about enabling parents’ support of their child, we can secure a valuable partnership. By doing a little bit extra, we can commission parents to be teachers in the home. And, by working together, we can produce life-long learners.
  • 6 Tennessee schools win national recognition
    Six schools in Tennessee have been chosen as 2011 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools. They are Hume-Fogg High in Nashville, Page High in Williamson County, South Greene High in Greene County, Frazier Elementary in Rhea County, Fairmont Elementary in Johnson City and Morristown West High in Hamblen County.
  • The NEA Talks Out of Both Sides of Its Mouth on Teacher Quality
    But this argument over certification is senseless. A decade of research has largely proven that there is little correlation between a teacher’s certification and their success in improving student achievement. Essentially, the nation’s system of teacher certification has largely been a failure when it comes to ensuring high-quality instructors for traditional public and charter schools, regardless of the backgrounds of the children they serve. And No Child’s Highly Qualified Teacher provision, while a good idea when it was first enacted as part of that law’s passage a decade, is not worth preserving in its current form, especially in an age in which we have some tools to identify high-quality instructors. What is starting to come to fore is that there is some slight correlation between the kind of institution training aspiring teachers and student achievement.
  • Rhea County School Board targets teacher evaluation program
    DAYTON, Tenn. — Rhea County school board members are prepared to ask state officials for a major revision of the system’s new teacher evaluation protocol, claiming it is discouraging to teachers and an incentive for good teachers to leave education.
  • Revised voucher bill opposed by Knox schools
    Legislation to set up a school voucher program for the first time in Tennessee has been revised by its lead sponsor while the state’s biggest school systems — including Knox County — are launching a lobbying effort against it. Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, sponsored a voucher bill that passed the Senate last year, but failed in the House. In a news release, Kelsey said he is filing a new and revised version of the “Equal Opportunity Scholarship Act” (SB2135) for the 2012 legislative session.
  • Officials split over charter schools
    Memphis: The issue of charter schools emerged Tuesday as one of the first philosophical differences between the merging city and county school systems, with one member of the new unified board suggesting a moratorium on charter schools
  • Haslam sees Moore fifth-grade class work during Montgomery County visit
    Haslam said one of Tennessee’s weaknesses in education, according to employers, was a lack of qualified people for jobs in science and technology fields, so he said initiatives like the one in Montgomery County are crucial to changing that trend.
  • How could a rewrite of NCLB scrap teacher evaluations?
    POLITICS MAKES FOR strange bedfellows, but Senate Republicans doing the bidding of teachers’ unions is particularly unexpected. That, though, is what happened when an important provision on teacher evaluations was knocked out of a proposed rewrite of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Given that the legislation had already abandoned meaningful student achievement targets, the latest change renders the bill a non-starter.
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander offers support to alternative No Child Left Behind proposal
    It’s not perfect, but it’s a good place to start. That was the opinion offered by Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander on Monday, when he announced his intent to initially support legislation from two fellow senators aimed at fixing deficiencies with an aging No Child Left Behind policy.
  • Education makes political comeback in Washington
    Paul used a procedural maneuver to put a halt on the hearing, citing a rule that says a committee cannot meet when the Senate is in session. That rule typically is waived. “I think it’s a mistake to continue No Child Left Behind in any form or fashion,” Paul told the committee. A coalition of 20 civil rights, disability rights and business groups, including the NAACP and the Chamber of Commerce, expressed criticism of the overhaul. They said “states would not have to set any measurable achievement and progress targets or even graduation rate goals” and huge numbers of low-achieving kids would slip through the cracks. Earlier, the administration said it wasn’t pleased that the bill left out a requirement on teacher and principal evaluations.
  • Dyersburg County Schools Lunch Buddies program offers students, mentors opportunity to grow
    Lunch Buddies mentoring program in the Dyer County School System is trying to do, change lives. The program is in need of men and woman to pair with young students who need a little extra guidance in their lives.

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