JC Bowman Commentary: Thoughts on Bill Lee’s State of the State on Education

States are where policymaking magic happens because they can experiment with innovative policy ideas. Tennessee citizens are unsurpassed in courage, passion, determination, and kindness reflected in our diversity; that is actually why Tennessee is America at Its Best. As a state, we must set our agenda with relentless optimism and resolve toward our future. In education, we understand that there must be needed changes in school funding, including additional monies. Governor Lee’s proposal in the State of the State tonight needs much deeper review, study, and time. In Tennessee, we do not “pass the bill so people can find out what’s in it.”

The Tennessee Constitution requires the General Assembly to provide for the maintenance, support, and eligibility standards of a system of free public schools. There are many key policy levers needed to improve public education and many are interlinked. Teachers are the critical element in improving education. It’s not about more programs, more standards, or more tests. It’s about that relationship between an adult and a child. Students need an adult who believes in them and their ability to succeed in life. Moving education policy is a lot like the game Jenga. If you remove the wrong piece the structure collapses. This is especially true in education funding. Without skilled personnel, education cannot succeed.

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Leading School Series: University of Wisconsin-Stout, Educating the Educators

  Schools like the University of Wisconsin at Stout are addressing the other side of the skills-gap equation. If public schools are going to bring back the trades, then they’ll need educators to teach them. The university’s Emerging Center for Career and Technical Education Excellence seeks to “serve the career…

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FEATURE: Midwest Educators Call for More Career and Technical Education

In July 2018, President Donald Trump signed the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” into law. The bill reauthorized the 2006 Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides an “increased focus on the academic achievement” of CTE students, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.

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