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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Movie Critical of Charter Schools and Vouchers Shown at Nashville Film Festival

  A documentary taking a critical look at charter schools and vouchers was shown Tuesday evening at the Nashville Film Festival. “Backpack Full of Cash” was filmed partly in Nashville and features Metro Nashville school board member Amy Frogge, who attended Tuesday’s screening at the Regal Hollywood 27 at 100 Oaks. Both charter schools and vouchers were referred to in the movie as efforts toward privatization. Charter schools are publicly funded but privately run. Vouchers, sometimes called scholarships, allow students to attend private schools with public money. The title of the documentary refers to a metaphor used by a privatization proponent in the movie to illustrate how an allotted amount of taxpayer money follows each student to the school of their choice. Nashville has a number of charter schools and a voucher bill is currently moving through the state legislature. It will be heard Wednesday morning by the House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee. The issue of privatization has ignited powerful and emotional reactions but ones that don’t fall along traditional ideological lines, proving the adage that politics makes strange bedfellows. Some conservatives are strong proponents of privatization, but so are Bill and Melinda Gates, also known for supporting progressive causes. The…

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