JC Bowman Commentary: What I Didn’t Say About the Departure of TN Dept. of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen

Tupac Shakur said, “Behind every sweet smile, there is a bitter sadness that no one can ever see and feel.” I spent time with Commissioner McQueen as more than a casual observer. Her heart and passion were always for the children and teachers in Tennessee.  She fought battles which nobody knew about and which, despite the lofty title in front of her name, she had little control. 

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Education Commissioner McQueen Taking Job With National Teaching Institute

Tennessee Education Commissioner Dr. Candice McQueen will leave her post in January for the top position at a national nonprofit that addresses teaching, The Tennessean said. McQueen’s departure to become CEO of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, focused on aiding in training, attracting and supporting teachers, means she will not…

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Senator Lamar Alexander Commentary: Key Education Decisions Should Be Made in States, Schools and Homes – Not Washington

Lamar Alexander

by Senator Lamar Alexander   When I wrote the law fixing No Child Left Behind, I was thinking about Tennessee teachers like Candace Hines, who teaches kindergarten in Memphis. Earlier this year, Candace wrote that the new law “empowers Tennessee with the responsibility to decide how to close achievement gaps,…

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Gov. Bill Haslam Says Don’t Throw in the Towel on TNReady

Bill Haslam

Before he packs up and vacates the Tennessee governor’s mansion early next year, Bill Haslam wants a dialogue with you about ways to improve TNReady. Haslam, at the state capitol Tuesday, announced what he described as a listening tour to do just that. The current governor and a team of…

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JC Bowman Commentary: A Few More Thoughts on Testing in Tennessee…

students in class

All stakeholders want to get testing right.  However, the emphasis on testing misses the bigger issue:  student academic growth measured by flawed testing.  Then the results being used in educator evaluations.  This is certainly more problematic to educators than the actual tests themselves. 

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Tennessee Department of Education Under Fire For Administrative Incompetence

Steve Gill

Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill was flabbergasted on Monday’s edition of The Gill Report – broadcast on Knoxville’s 92.3 FM WETR – regarding the repeated incompetence displayed at the Tennessee Department of Education. Gill commented, “The Tennessee Department of Education has stepped in it again.” He continued: One of…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Are You Called to Teach?

Teacher and Kids

Teaching is indeed an imposing, self-sacrificing, but also a magnanimous calling. There is no other profession, except perhaps the clergy, that can change lives like a public-school teacher.

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Problems Reported on First Day of TNReady Testing

After months of preparing for the annual year-end assessments, many Tennessee students struggled to log on to the TNReady testing platform Monday morning. The Department of Education says the problem was quickly fixed by the vendor, and over 20,000 students took the test after the problems were resolved. “We share…

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