As delays in getting scores and data from TNReady for the 16-17 schoolyear continue, the state’s testing vendor, Minnesota-based Questar, met with TEA officials to provide an update on the status, the challenges the company had in its first year, and what they are working on going forward.
Proposed rule changes would jeopardize teacher licenses, limit local control over teacher discipline
TEA has objected to massive changes in the teacher licensure rules proposed by the State Board of Education, and halted an attempt to quickly pass them in a key legislative committee.
Now the state board is trying to circumvent the law on passing rules by labeling them “emergency” and stating that students’ safety is at stake.
The idea that students were at-risk under current rules is a sham.
State Board votes to apply teacher raise to State Minimum Salary Schedule,
ensuring all teachers will receive a meaningful increase
TEA made the 2017 session about getting state raise funds into teacher paychecks. We testified in committees, lobbied legislators and leaders, and pushed across the state for change.
Legislative leaders are responding. On the last session day, House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and House Finance Ways and Means Chairman Charles Sargent (R-Franklin) sent a letter to Commissioner Candice McQueen and the State Board of Education, outlining the case to drive state funds into teacher salaries.
Private school voucher bills have become synonymous with the Tennessee General Assembly.
For five straight years, bills to strip public funding from our local public schools to fund private school tuition have been filed. For five straight years, TEA and other public school advocates have fought back and won.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in late 2015. The new federal education law replaces No Child Left Behind and gives states flexibility around issues like testing and accountability. Tennessee has already submitted its required ESSA plan to the US Department of Education for review. Just last week, the legislature passed HB 308, the legislative counterpart to the ESSA plan. While there are some positive elements, the plan also includes some key missed opportunities.
Privatization advocates have had their sights set on Tennessee for years, but TEA has worked hard to hold them off for four straight legislative sessions, keeping public taxpayer money where it belongs - in public schools’ budgets.
These groups have been working again this session to privatize our public schools through a number of different schemes, including the Memphis pilot program and expansion of the special education vouchers. Both bills are still moving in the legislature.
The primary sponsors of vouchers for Memphis hail from Knoxville and Germantown.
By Jim Gifford, Rutherford EA member
No matter what, some Tennessee legislators know a good deal when they see it.
If a proposed new bill or untested program concerning public education is considered too risky or is unpopular with the constituents in their own districts, they can always try it out in the perpetual doormat called “Memphis”.
The NEA-RA is the annual Representative Assembly for the National Education Association. Delegates to the RA are NEA/TEA members who are elected through their local or state Association. This year's Representative Assembly will be located in Boston, M.A.
Stay on top of requirements, earn PDPs with TEA trainings
When it is time to renew your teaching license, don’t get caught unprepared at the last minute.
A teacher’s license is up for renewal every three to six years depending on the type of license, but the expiration date is always August 31 of the designated year (Visit www.teateachers.org/License for a full explanation).