Political tempest over seventh grade social studies standards has a key lawmaker scapegoating teachers
Tennessee’s future teachers took school improvement into their own hands with a first annual service project at John Early Middle School in Nashville on Friday, Sept. 25.
“Student TEA members from every part of our state gathered at John Early Middle School to make over an outdoor classroom,” said STEA President Raymond Boyd. “While some people talk about improving teaching and learning conditions at schools, we’re doing something about it.”
One of the many benefits of membership is knowing that when you need help most, TEA Legal Services can be there in times of professional crisis. The much-maligned portfolio system used to evaluate pre-k and kindergarten teachers has been just that for countless educators.
After two consecutive years of successfully supporting the passage of hold-harmless legislation meant to protect teachers from harmful effects of the rollout of the portfolio system, there were still teachers being negatively affected. That’s when TEA Legal went to work.
With $72 million in this year’s state budget for teacher raises, and $430 million over the past five years, there would be an expectation that all teachers would see improvement on their pay stub.
TEA salary data shows that in previous years the amount of additional funding would have led to substantial increases in average teacher pay. Yet the state comptroller found what TEA and teachers already know—the average salary increase was little more than half that figure.
No teacher ever expects to be in the position of their license being in jeopardy. Unfortunately, as a result of a combination of factors, TEA has seen a 200% increase in member licensure cases since 2017.
For TEA member Jason Smith, his problems began with bureaucratic red tape. When he was recruited to teach in Metro Nashville, his Oklahoma teaching license was to be transferred and he was to be placed on the salary schedule with credit for his more than 15 years of teaching in Oklahoma and Japan.
By TEA President Beth Brown
As a high school English teacher, I have always operated under the philosophy that every student loves to read: reluctant readers simply haven’t yet found what it is they like. In my effort to spark their love of reading, I spend countless hours and innumerable conversations trying to discern exactly what it is that my students care about.