JC Bowman Commentary: Grow Your Own Teachers

Tennessee is a unique state, not only because we have the greatest citizens, but because of our geography.  We border eight states.  That can be an advantage and a disadvantage at times.  When economic times are good, people want to relocate to our state.  When economic times are difficult, it allows residents to move to a neighboring state and pursue more money in their chosen occupation.  In education, we lose teachers to our border states on a regular basis.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: The Looming Changes in Student Teaching

As educators, we are concerned about the quality and quantity of applicants entering the field of education.   Our members have often been catalysts for innovative solutions to the many challenges facing education.  That is why we take an interest in the next generation of educators and why our focus is on how to improve their experience and support as they transition from teacher candidate to classroom teacher.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Union Politics Hurt Public Education

Union politics often hurt public education and educators with an agenda that many parents and taxpayers are baffled by, and members are left to explain. 

Read More

A Primer on Collaborative Conferencing

The Tennessee General Assembly was clear in 2011 that they wanted to get politics out of our public schools while supporting teachers’ rights to fight for higher wages and better working conditions. Professional Educators of Tennessee fervently supports the right of educators to discuss working conditions and salary with their employers.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: The Importance of Mentors for Teachers and Administrators

Our suggestion is to ensure that money is included in the future Basic Education Program (BEP) to allow for mentorship to occur, either by utilizing highly effective retired educators or granting stipends to experienced classroom teachers with a proven track record in classroom management.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Selecting New School Superintendents – Dance of the Lemons or Parade of Favorites?

No matter who your district hires—whether from within or bringing in an experienced educator from outside—give that new leader a chance. Don’t be afraid to hold them accountable.

Read More

Commentary: Celebration of Easter and Passover

This weekend marks a Holy Week for many citizens across Tennessee and the world, as we celebrate Passover and Easter. In America, religious beliefs are critical to many of our founding principles. There is no denying the significant impact that faith has had on our nation, from the Puritans to…

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Strike Out in Tennessee

In education, strikes are detrimental to children, parents, the community, and the profession. A strike is a throwback to an archaic factory model of governance. Public education in Tennessee wins when we all work together through civil discourse to address our considerable issues, not with outworn strategies from the industrial age.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: State of the State Expectations 2019

The State of the State will signal to the state the administration’s priorities for the immediate future. It is where campaign promises, either become realities or go to die.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Student Discipline Is Out of Control

It would be awesome if every educator had a positive and supportive working environment where they could thrive personally and professionally, and where they were free to exercise their expertise and explore the full limits of their talents.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Legislation That Hurts School Discipline

Lack of student discipline, inadequate administrative support, and lack of respect are frequently cited why teachers leave the profession. The continued barrage of top-down legislation by the Tennessee General Assembly does not help.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Helping Our Children with Dyslexia

Teacher and Kids

Data shows that one in five students or more than 200,000 in the state have characteristics of dyslexia. Dyslexia affects you regardless of race, gender, or political affiliation.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Let the Committee Decide

How did a system designed to provide government of, by, and for the people devolve into a system in which bureaucrats unaccountable to voters produce masses of law that was never voted on by an elected official?

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Losing Our Brightest Students

Have we pushed some of our best and brightest students, including students of color, aside in the name of equity? JC Bowman identifies why that answer is yes.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Parent Dress Code and Inappropriate Behavior

Legislation is being suggested by Tennessee Representative Antonio Parkinson on a parental dress code. Passing legislation is not necessary, if we simply enforce the indecent exposure and other laws already on the books.  

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: A Bright Future in Workforce & Education

One of the challenges we face in Tennessee moving forward is the need to further develop and align the education-to-career pipeline.  Governor-elect Bill Lee probably expressed this better than any candidate on the campaign trail, and his potential as governor in this arena offers great hope for a brighter future for Tennessee.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: New Year, New Leaders

A new year is a time for reflection and more importantly a time for hope. It will require ethical leadership and tireless advocacy for issues that you care about, but the promise of a new year brings the best hope for mankind. 

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Open Enrollment is a Choice

As the focus on education choice is elevated by Governor-elect Bill Lee, maybe the easiest place to find initial consensus is with open enrollment. We must expand open enrollment policies in our public school districts.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Time to Address Teacher Morale

There is no one size fits all strategy that will work in every school or district.  This is a recurring theme among those who believe in local control in public education.  Together, we can work to address teacher morale issues.  Once a plan is in place, it is very important to examine, evaluate, and adjust as necessary. 

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: A K12 Education Agenda We Should Embrace

Lee has stated his three major priorities: 1) Getting our students ready to enter the workforce; 2) Strengthening the foundations of a quality system; and 3) Encouraging innovation.  It is a K12 education agenda we should embrace.   

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Blueprint for Transition in Education

Bill Lee ran as a conservative, and should govern as a conservative. He stressed the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong education system.

Read More

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. 

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Collaborative Conferencing Limits Educators

Tennessee Star

Professional Educators of Tennessee fervently supports the right of educators to discuss working conditions and salary with their employers. There are flaws in the current Professional Educators Collaborative Conferencing Act (Public Chapter 378). Are there other options?  We believe so and toward that end, Professional Educators of Tennessee has begun to establish Education Leaders Councils in some districts to accomplish more for teachers.  It will help us cultivate true consensus building and address more critical issues. 

Read More

Professional Educators of Tennessee to Conduct Legislative Survey

teacher

Professional Educators of Tennessee is conducting a legislative survey of educators across the state. Frequent areas that we hear from educators:  School Safety & Security, Teacher Compensation and Recruitment, School Funding, and Assessment.  We believe policymakers need to address these issues in 2019,

Read More

Education Policy: 9 Issues to Address in 2019

Tennessee Star

Public education is not “broken.” Public education policy is “broken,” and neighborhood public schools are suffering the consequences.  Here are nine of the most critical and challenging issues in public education we should address in 2019 in Tennessee.

Read More

Commentary: Changing the School Culture

His biggest piece of advice is to “get out of the office, get in the hallways, in the classrooms, in the community. No school in Tennessee has changed its culture more than ‘The Mount’. This school culture is an example of a strategy that other schools and districts can duplicate.

Read More

Commentary: School Culture and Chronic Behavior Problems

We need to address some of the more critical issues many educators in our public schools face: chronic discipline issues with students with behavior issues that cannot be easily addressed in a classroom setting, with a non-supportive school climate

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Celebrate Constitution Day

Signing the Constitution painting

Our founding principles are critical as our country moves forward, if we are to survive as a nation.  It is one area in which Americans are likely to find agreement. We celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th every year.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: We Remember September 11

Twin Towers

We must remember September 11th in our homes and in our classrooms and engage in this important dialogue. Never let it be said that the flame of freedom was extinguished on our watch. That can be summed up in two words: We Remember.

Read More

Commentary: Thanking Those Who Built America

trade, craftsman

Labor Day has many meanings, but one meaning is that we must recognize the incredible effort and work it took to build this great country. 

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Tone Deaf School Districts 

JC Bowman

“If you don’t understand — from the school district to the superintendents — that we want our teachers held harmless, then I’m sorry, you’re tone-deaf.” —-State Representative Eddie Smith (Knoxville). That message was heard and understood statewide, right?  Apparently not.  We are receiving reports from across the state that some districts are denying their teachers their justified and earned bonuses, which harms the educator.

Read More

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. 

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Testing is Open for Debate

Professional Educators of Tennessee raised the issue on Testing, with a hard-hitting editorial called the Trouble with Testing. Professional Educators of Tennessee did NOT support the use of that data on teacher evaluations, nor did they sign a support letter on the original grant submission., which the Tennessee Education Association did.

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Time to Separate PACS from Lobbying

dealmakers

Professional Educators of Tennessee will continue to lobby for public education.  However, we will never endorse political parties or candidates as an organization on behalf of our members.  We also do not have a PAC, nor do we plan to ever start one.  It would harm our effectiveness.  We must advance public education without the divisive tribalism of partisan politics, and we will only get involved in education related issues.

Read More