Usually by this time each school year, the state Department of Education has released its annual Report Card for public education in Tennessee. This year, however, the annual public release of data has been delayed in part because of changes in curriculum standards and how the data are measured.
Posts Tagged ‘Standards and assessment’
Over the next few weeks, students will find out how they scored on this spring’s beefed-up standardized tests. And state officials will find out how parents are reacting to Tennessee’s revamped education system.
As little Johnny and Janie settle into another school year, a report released this week by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development highlights the need for Americans to think globally and act locally about education. We already know why. “When I was growing up, America was number one in public education kindergarten through the 12th grade,” writes former Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist, founder of the SCORE education reform initiative. “Then we fell to 5th, then 10th, then 15th, then 20th, then 26th in the world. And we are getting worse and worse. Our kids today are competing against students from these other countries – and they are not getting the jobs.”
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber today announced Michael Cohen, president of the nationally recognized education reform organization Achieve, will keynote the Commissioner’s Luncheon on September 16, 2010 during the 57th annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development in Nashville, Tenn.
Our school systems and teachers, both locally and statewide, had the courage to pick up the gauntlet and become willing to do things in different ways with new and sometimes scary evaluation methods. Success will require both parents and students to take a deep breath and soldier through what could be several months and even years of less-than-expected grades while the new curriculum is transitioned through our schools. These potentially lower grades will not be a sign of failing students, teachers, schools or parents. Our kids are as smart as any in the nation.
The Tennessee Department of Education raised the bar last year, implementing tougher standards to equip students for global competition. This change includes expectations of students in kindergarten.
The results are sobering, and Tennessee faces years of work to turn them around. But many Tennessee education officials believe the state is finally telling the truth about its students, their performance and academic standards.
First-year Memphis City Schools teacher Jasmyn Wright, 21, grew up in South New Jersey, studied a semester in Africa and graduated a semester early from Spelman College with a 3.7 GPA. One of 100 new Teach for America teachers at MCS, bringing the district’s total to 150, Wright arrives at a time of unprecedented opportunity — as well as pressure — at the Memphis system. She and hundreds of other hires moved here over the summer in part because Memphis in the last year has received more federal and philanthropic support for schools than any city in the nation.
Kingsport and Sullivan County school leaders continue to pre pare for the new progressively tougher Tennessee test scoring. They also are bracing for the fallout from the markedly lower scores from the first round of the new “cut” scores, expected to be released for systems statewide as early as September.
This promises to be an interesting year for Memphis and Shelby County schoolchildren, who return to classes this week after summer break. Students will face tougher standardized tests and teachers will be under more pressure to make sure students succeed. Meeting the new state test standards is probably the issue that will have the biggest impact for students, teachers and administrators in both systems. It’ll be tough going in many cases, but success will mean students in Memphis and Shelby County will be able to compete with any student in the country.