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

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…

Read More

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,…

Read More

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…

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

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…

Read More

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.

Read More

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…

Read More

Tennessee Education Commissioner to Reconvene Task Force on Student Testing

Tennessee education commissioner Candice McQueen has announced the reconvening of a special task force on student testing and assessment. The state for the past few years has struggled with problems with testing vendors and growing concern among parents and others that students are overtested. McQueen started the task force after…

Read More

State Sues Metro Nashville Public Schools Over Student Contact Info, District to Sue State Over Funding

The state of Tennessee is suing Metro Nashville Public Schools for declining to release student contact information to the state-run Achievement School District run mostly by charter school operators who want parents to be informed of school options. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Davidson County Chancery Court, claims that a…

Read More

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…

Read More

With Some Gains, Tennessee Schools Still Struggle To Meet Goals Of Tennessee Succeeds

Tennessee Star

  NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Education commissioner Candice McQueen on Thursday outlined progress K-12 public schools have made toward meeting the goals of Tennessee Succeeds. McQueen spoke at the annual joint meeting of the State Board of Education and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission held in downtown Nashville. The Tennessee Succeeds…

Read More

Tennessee Department of Education Runs Into Another Glitch In Delivering Standardized Test Results

  The Tennessee Department of Education has hit yet another snag in getting spring standardized test results to school districts. Questar, the vendor for TNReady tests, is having problems with its scanning software used to grade paper exams. The state was already having problems with delivering raw scores, partly because some…

Read More

School Districts Across State Experiencing Delays In Getting Student Test Results

Tennessee Star

  A delay in getting standardized test results is frustrating school officials across Tennessee as they get ready to send out report cards and wrap up the year. As a result, many districts are opting not to factor in TNReady test scores for final grades. The problems come a year…

Read More

Memphis Charter School Knew Of Interim Principal’s Felony Conviction When Hiring Him

  A charter school in Memphis hired an interim principal knowing he had a felony conviction, reports WMC Action News 5 in Memphis. Koai Matthews of Lester Prep was convicted and sentenced to probation for conspiracy and counterfeiting in 2006, according to court documents from Missouri obtained by WMC. The school…

Read More

Teacher Shortage Worries Tennessee Department of Education

Tennessee is scrambling to come up with ways to find and keep quality teachers in the classroom. The state Department of Education released a report last week that details the problem and outlines proposed solutions that focus especially on strengthening ties with teacher education programs in the state’s postsecondary schools. “More…

Read More