The Common Core Standards within local public schools continue to raise eyebrows while at the same time encouraging others. The standards seem to cause both excitement and confusion with educators in Rutherford County and beyond.
WGNS was informed on Wednesday night that the Tennessee State Senate Education Committee will hold hearings on the Tennessee Common Core State Standards Thursday and Friday in Nashville (Sept. 19 and 20, 2013). The Professional Educators of Tennessee told us that they would be at those hearings.
“We believe the adoption of any state standard should be minimal and that local districts should also have flexibility to increase such standards. The state is justified to emphasize desired outcomes. However, this should be in broad terms and not prescribe specific content or procedures in detail to maximize independence and creativity of educators. A common set of knowledge and skills should never stand in the way of any school or district from developing their own distinctive characters or pursuing shared educational goals with other schools, districts or even other states.
Policymakers will continue to have a challenging job trying to balance the debate between non-traditional education reformers who are accused of trying to upset the public education system and traditional educators who are opposed to changing the status quo.”
Policymakers should consider (According to the PET):
- Keep Common Core State Standards in Language Arts and Math in place.
- Common Core is a starting point. The standards that are currently adopted are the minimal baseline and we must keep moving forward to increase these standards.
- Evaluate Tennessee’s role in PARCC.
- Delay using student test results for Teacher Evaluations, at least until 2016-2017 at the earliest.
- Make individual student data-mining in Tennessee illegal. Schools and schools systems need better policies in regard to school personnel having access to an educator’s personal summative and evaluation scores.
- Textbook selection and purchasing must be completely transparent.
- Conduct a public review of All Race to the Top Expenditures.
- Evaluate Tennessee’s No Child Left Behind waiver.
- Clarify the role of the State Board of Education.
- Keep all stakeholders at the table.