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Education Commissioner McQueen Convenes Testing Assessment Task Force

The role of state tests should always be to supplement other feedback loops that teachers, parents, and districts use to get a more complete picture of a student’s development, including classroom performance, report cards, portfolios, performances, and other ways students show their development. State tests are not meant to be the sole driver of instructional decisions. The information from an assessment should provide educators, parents, and students with a better perspective on how the students are succeeding academically compared to their peers across Tennessee.

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JC Bowman Commentary: What Is a Superintendent of Schools?

The superintendent, like principals, must also demonstrate a keen understanding of teaching, learning and what works for students. As a change leader, a successful superintendent should emphasize the efficient use of resources, personnel, and data to break down resistance and drive systemic change; empower board and personnel to set goals, measure results, develop accountability, and support planning, evaluation, and resource allocation.

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Commentary: Reflecting on Our Bill of Rights

Regardless of personal political persuasion or affiliation, American citizens can unite around the Bill of Rights because it communicates our basic shared values. Limiting the power of government and safeguarding the rights of our citizens is something we must all make a conscientious effort to protect. We should be especially appreciative for the protection afforded in our Bill of Rights against a national government gaining ground against our most fundamental rights—freedom of speech, protest, and conscience guarantees our equal protection under the law. A free society does not just occur. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

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Commentary: One Teacher Can Make a Difference

The heart of this story is the investment of a teacher into the life of a student. In Tennessee, every day, more than 67,000 teachers walk into our public schools, ready to tackle the responsibilities of investing in the lives of almost a million students.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Mandates Must Include Funding

State mandates must include funding, and if districts use their own resources then they should be free to create their own program, modify the RTI2 program or discontinue it all together. The question legislators must answer: Does the RTI2 program work? If the answer is yes the program is working, then the state should indeed fully fund it. If the answer is no, then that message will also be sent by the Tennessee General Assembly.

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Beth Harwell Calls for State Legislative Hearings on TNReady Testing Problems

House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) is calling for state legislative hearings on problems with TNReady scoring. “We have made great strides over the last several years in education, and we must be diligent in ensuring we continue these gains,” Harwell said on Facebook Tuesday. “We know that accountability has been a…

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JC Bowman Commentary: A Labor Day Message

Tennessee Star

Labor Day has many meanings, but one meaning is that we must recognize the incredible effort it took to build this great country. We must remember those men and women who came before us and sacrificed for all of us on this day.

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Commentary: Chaos Is a Ladder

When you want chaos or conflict, your goal is to continue the creation of problems, not find solutions to real problems. And if problems do not exist, you make them up. That is why some organizations and institutions are increasingly losing members, support and influence.

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Commentary: Beyond Alinsky

What happens when Saul Alinsky and his tactics do not go far enough for you? We are probably about to find out. There are seemingly no longer limits to acceptable behavior in society, no moral conscience for some people and Alinsky’s radical “methods” are now the new normal. Combined with the usual Orwellian double-speak from those trained in Alinsky tactics. They can attract the gullible.

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