House Votes to Delay Common Core and PARCC
TEA's strong stand on proper common core implementation and use of the PARCC assessment have resulted in the Tennessee House of Representatives passing a bill today that places a two year moratorium on further implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the use of the PARCC assessment. Rep. Craig Fitzhugh successfully added the two amendments to HB1129/SB1266 to pass the moratorium. The majority of House members voted for the two year delay with a vote of 82-11. The Senate previously passed the bill (without the common core and PARCC amendments), so the bill will return to the Senate floor - NOT the Senate Education Committee.
“TEA supports the more rigorous standards that are included in Common Core, but the implementation must provide adequate time and resources to be effective. Tennessee teacher involvement in standards development and implementation is critical to ensure the standards are developmentally appropriate for all students,” said TEA President Gera Summerford in a recent statement to media.
Summerford continued, “First and foremost, we object to our students being set up to fail. Any assessments aligned with the Common Core standards should ensure no harm is done to Tennessee students, schools or educators.Though PARCC supporters speak of an apples-to-apples comparison of student achievement, Tennessee students will be measured against states that invest thousands of dollars more per pupil.”
After the vote in the House today, President Summerford said, "The state has rushed implementation of common core from the start. I am relieved to see legislators take this bold step to ensure higher standards are implemented in an appropriate way. This is the right move for Tennessee students and their teachers."
Positive Week for Public Education
Earlier this week, TEA's Educator Respect and Accountability Act of 2014 passed the House Education subcommittee and the Senate Education committee. This bill (HB2263/SB2047) prohibits the use of any standardized test scores in teacher licensure decisions. The bill received overwhelming support in both committees. The only "no" votes came from Rep. Mark White, Sen. Delores Gresham and Sen. Brian Kelsey.
These two votes are important first steps toward getting standardized test scores out of licensure decisions. The Educator Respect and Accountability Act has garnered significant support in both chambers already, with 80 of the House's 99 members signed on as co-sponsors. Please click here to see if your legislator has signed on as a co-sponsor. If so, please email him/her to express your appreciation.
When the bill makes it to the governor's desk, it is critical that he sign it. Gov. Haslam's office has made it clear this week that he does not support it at this time. Please click here to sign the petition urging the governor to treat educators as professionals.
Anti-Reform Documentary Crew Joins TEA Rally Day
TEA hosted its first of five Rally Days on the Hill this week. More than 100 educators visited Legislative Plaza to advocate for students and public education. Members met with legislators and attended the House Education committee and subcommittee meetings.
A documenary crew from New York joined members for the association's first Rally Day of 2014. The crew interviewed members, TEA President Gera Summerford and legislators about education reform in Tennessee, with an emphasis on the flawed evaluation system. Producers told members that they came for the TEA Rally Day because, "TEA is the leading force behind the push back on bad education reform policies in the state." The documentary is expected to air nationally on PBS after the first of the year (2015).
Please plan to join us for the next Rally Day on the Hill on Tuesday, March 18, to stand up for your profession and your students! The rally day will begin at TEA at 9:15 a.m. We will provide a free shuttle to and from Legislative Plaza. TEA will reimburse you for your mileage to and from Nashville. We are also providing hotel rooms for Monday night to those who are traveling 100+ miles. Hotel rooms are first-come, first-serve and MUST be reserved via email. Contact Sandra Stinson at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a room.