• State Board Releases 2023 Charter School Authorizer Evaluation Outcomes

    Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 10:30am

    During its February 16th quarterly meeting, the State Board of Education released outcomes for the 2023 charter school authorizer evaluations. These bi-annual evaluations are designed to ensure the effective operation of all authorizers and assess authorizer quality. The State Board was charged with conducting periodic charter school authorizer evaluations by the Tennessee General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session. Under the statutory requirement, the State Board developed an evaluation system based on Policy 6.111 - Quality Charter Authorizing Standards and Tennessee became the fourth state to adopt an authorizer evaluation process. and was the fourth state to adopt an authorizer evaluation process. “Quality charter school authorization is essential for ensuring charters schools, and their authorizers, are operating according to state standards and with transparency," said Dr. Sara Morrison, Executive Director of the State Board of Education. “The State Board believes these evaluations give authorizers valuable feedback that can increase the quality of oversight and support for their charter schools.” Each charter school authorizer evaluation begins with the formation of an evaluation team and an examination of the authorizer’s performance based on state standards. After the evaluation, authorizers receive a final report detailing specific feedback, scores on the rubric’s standards, an overall rating, and follow-up actions. Authorizers can earn an overall rating on a scale from zero to four, with score ranges indicating unsatisfactory/incomplete, approaching satisfactory, satisfactory, commendable, and exemplary designations. “This is our second cycle of evaluations, and results show significant progress being made by our charter school authorizers. We are proud to see them continue to raise the bar to better serve Tennessee’s students," said Ali Reid, Director of Engagement and Accountability for the State Board. Tennessee’s charter authorizer evaluation cycle is conducted over a two-year period. The 2023 evaluations assessed the authorizing practices of Hamilton County Schools, Knox County Schools and Memphis-Shelby County Schools. 2023 Evaluation Outcomes: Hamilton County Schools – “Satisfactory” with a score of 2.3 out of 4 Knox County Schools – “Commendable” with a score of 3.1 out of 4 Memphis-Shelby County Schools – “Commendable” with a score of 3.4 out of 4 Additional information, including the full charter authorizer evaluation reports, can be found on the State Board of Education’s website.

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  • Annual Educator Preparation Report Card Shows Ten Educator Preparation Providers Exceeding Expectations

    Thursday, February 15, 2024 | 11:00am

    Today, the State Board of Education released its eighth annual Educator Preparation Report Card, a tool that evaluates educator preparation providers (EPPs) in Tennessee. For the first time since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Report Card rates EPPs on the effectiveness of their teachers in the classroom. These classroom outcomes, along with performance in other key areas such as employment and retention of teachers in Tennessee public schools, contribute to each EPP’s overall performance rating on the Report Card. Out of 38 EPPs that received overall ratings, ten received the highest possible rating of “Exceeds Expectations.” Established in state law, the Educator Preparation Report Card is an annual report designed to track metrics across Tennessee’s public, private, and alternative EPPs. By assessing EPPs’ performance in teacher effectiveness, employment outcomes, recruitment of diverse candidates, and pass rates on licensure examinations, the State Board’s Report Card aims to ensure every Tennessee student is taught by a well-prepared educator. “Since a redesign in 2016, Tennessee’s Educator Preparation Report Card has served as a transparent reporting model for other states,” said Dr. Sara Morrison, Executive Director of the State Board of Education. “This year’s Report Card rates EPPs on the performance of their teachers in the classroom as well as several other factors. We are thrilled to see so many EPPs exceeding expectations, including public, private, and alternative providers.” Key Outcomes Ten EPPs earned the highest possible overall rating on the Report Card, “Exceeds Expectations.” Nearly 30 percent of teacher candidates earned endorsements in high-demand areas such as special education, English as a second language (ESL), secondary science, and secondary math. 16.2 percent of teacher candidates have racially or ethnically diverse backgrounds. 25 percent of newly trained teachers in tested subjects exceeded expectations in student growth, an impressive achievement for early-career teachers. 2,785 teachers completed a Tennessee educator preparation program or enrolled in a job-embedded program during the 2021-22 school year, compared to just over 3,000 in 2020-21. This decline is due in part to a change in how the State Board reports teacher candidates from EPPs that operate both in-state and out-of-state programs. -more- Certain metrics in the Report Card, such as performance on licensure examinations and measures of teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom, are mandated in state law. Other metrics, such as candidate diversity and the percentage of candidates earning endorsements in high-demand fields, are included on the Report Card as key priorities highlighted by the State Board. “We are excited to bring teacher evaluation data back to the Report Card for the first time since the pandemic,” said Erika Leicht, director of research for the State Board of Education and the Educator Preparation Report Card project manager. “We hope this year's Report Card will showcase high-performing educator preparation providers and guide other states that seek to develop their own educator preparation reporting systems.” To view the Educator Preparation Report Card, visit http://teacherprepreportcard.tn.gov. Additional information and archives of previous editions of the Report Card are available on the State Board of Education website at http://www.tn.gov/sbe. ###

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  • Tennessee State Board of Education Announces Educator Licensure Review Committee Members

    Friday, February 09, 2024 | 10:18am

    The State Board of Education staff, working with the Tennessee Department of Education have formed an Educator Licensure Review Committee that will offer feedback and provide recommendations to ensure that the educator licensure system and policies continue to meet Tennessee’s evolving needs. Beginning in Spring 2023, staff from the State Board and Tennessee Department of Education began working with the National Association of State Boards of Education to create a draft vision and set of guiding principles for educator licensure and to identify key issues within the current system through surveying key stakeholders across the state. Out of this work several key topics emerged for the Committee to discuss including: Continued use of the edTPA as a licensure requirement for candidates completing undergraduate and traditional post-baccalaureate preparation programs Evaluation of requirements for occupational licensure and accessibility of licensure pathways for prospective educators transitioning from industry Improvement of communication of more recently developed pathways to licensure and legislative changes that impact licensure “We are excited for this new Committee to determine ways in which Tennessee can continually improve the educator licensure system for current and future educators,” says Michael Deurlein, Deputy Executive Director of Research and Policy for the State Board of Education. “I look forward to working with the Department and Committee members to develop innovative approaches that support the needs of Tennessee schools and districts.” The Committee members represent areas from the entire state and are charged with examining educator licensure requirements in Tennessee. The Committee will later present their recommendations to the Executive Director of the State Board. They will also analyze related State Board rules and policies alongside issues faced by our educators and districts. Educator Licensure Review Committee members include: Anne Barbieri, Hamilton County Schools John Bartlett, Knox County Schools Ulla Carr, KCS EPP David Cihak, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Cynthia Chambers, East Tennessee State University Matt Cheek, Nashville Teacher Residency Holly Coleman, Hyde Family Foundation Tiffany Dellard, Middle Tennessee State University Staci Fuqua, University of Tennessee, Martin Diarese George, Tennesse Educators of Color Alliance Senator Joey Hensley, Senate District 28 Ayesha Ibrahim, Metro Nashville Public Schools Bob Nardo, Libertas School of Memphis Jean Luna-Vedder, Clarksville Montgomery County Schools Jenikka Oglesby, Memphis – Shelby County Schools Megan Parker Peters, Lipscomb University Allen Pratt, National Rural Education Association/University of Tennessee, Chattanooga Eddie Pruett, Gibson County Special School District Megan Salemi, Memphis Teacher Residency Patrick Sheehy, Tennessee Business Roundtable Representative William Slater, House District 35 Catherine Stephens, Tullahoma City Schools Missy Testerman, Rogersville City Schools

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  • Educator License Discipline Overview

    Wednesday, January 31, 2024 | 02:47pm

    Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) § 49-1-302 gives the State Board the duty and power to "adopt rules and policies governing ... [the] discipline of licensed personnel for misconduct by formal reprimand or by the suspension and revocation of licenses and certificates." T.C.A. § 49-5-108 gives the State Board "[c]omplete jurisdiction over the issuance and administration of licenses . . . ." State Board of Education Rule 0520-02-03-.09 outlines reasons why applicants, teachers, or administrators may have applications denied, licenses formally reprimanded, suspended or revoked, or permits not re-issued. License discipline cases are brought to the attention of the Board staff through four primary channels – Directors Reports, the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education Certification (NASDTEC), personal affirmations, and the Department of Human Services. Additionally, the Board has the authority to open cases for review that are brought to its attention through other channels such as media reports. Once the case is reported to Board staff, staff reviews the report to determine if the matter falls under the purview of State Board Rule 0520-02-03-.09. If the reported misconduct is subject to review under State Board Rule 0520-02-03-.09, the educator’s license file in TNCompass is placed under review. Educator licenses remain fully active during the time they are under review. Cases are “opened” to be placed under review on or about the first day of the month after they are reported. For example, if a case is reported on January 15th, it will be opened on or about February 1st. There are several steps between placing a case under review and ultimately closing the case. The time to conclude each case varies depending on the underlying cause of the review. For example, some cases take significantly longer to conclude, such as reviews triggered by underlying law enforcement or DCS investigations. Reports are made in TNCompass, the online educator talent management system that collects and stores educator information such as licensure, evaluations, and discipline. Once a case is reported in TNCompass and placed under review by the State Board Educator License Discipline (ELD) team, the team works diligently to review all submitted information. It is imperative that all relevant and available information be submitted with each report, including witness statements, video or audio recordings, text messages, and electronic records. Importantly, Rule 0520-02-03-.09(2) provides “schools and school systems have a duty to respond to State Board inquiries and provide to the State Board, except when prohibited by law, any available documentation requested concerning the allegations.” After all available information is gathered by the ELD team, the case is presented to the State Board staff case review committee. This committee meets monthly and is composed of the SBE Executive Director, General Counsel, and other staff members. During this attorney-client privileged meeting, the committee reviews every case presented to it and makes a recommendation in consideration of the facts of the case, applicable rule, and range of discipline permitted by rule. If license action is recommended, the educator will receive a Notice of Proposed Action (NPA) at the mailing address they have listed in TNCompass. If an educator receives an NPA, they are presented with all due process rights available to them to proceed with the case. If the case review committee determines no action is warranted, then the review will be cleared in TNCompass. To learn more about educator license discipline, please visit our website where you will find additional resources, including reporting resources for Directors of Schools, and the Board Rules and Policies pertaining to educator license discipline. Additionally, if you have further questions, you can contact the ELD Team at EducatorLicense.Discipline@tn.gov.

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  • Training Tennessee's future workforce is an urgent mission that starts in the classroom.

    Friday, December 01, 2023 | 07:00am

    By Darrell Cobbins and Larry Jensen, Tennessee State Board of Education members As Tennessee State Board of Education members, we have the privilege to advocate for parents, teachers, students, and local school districts across all 95 counties. We take pride in the work of Tennessee’s 1,843 public schools and want to guarantee our students are developing the skills in the classroom to be adequately prepared for a lifetime of success. We recently attended the Future Forward Summit, hosted by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), which allowed us to connect with over 150 business leaders, education leaders, and policymakers. In our time as Board members, this is the first event that brought forth the challenges and tangible solutions to ensure Tennessee’s education policies are evolving in tandem with the needs of our ever-changing economy and workforce. While a critical conversation and a good start, this is just the beginning of a long journey to help Tennessee lead the nation in workforce development and become the best at preparing students for the jobs of the future. According to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, approximately 430,000 working-age Tennesseans do not possess a high school diploma or equivalent. And the median salary for Tennessee’s non-high school graduates is $23,955, according to the U.S. Career Institute. One can clearly reason that most of these Tennesseans are living on the edge of poverty. We also see at a local level that we have an estimated 100,000 Memphians experiencing poverty because they are in need of academic remediation to access career and technical education. How do we break the cycle of adults not finishing high school? We must start in our classrooms. No matter what route a high school graduate takes upon graduation, he or she should feel confident knowing their future job can earn enough to cover the cost of living. Developing robust plans that include local school districts, collaborating with Tennessee’s Departments of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and our many higher education institutions, can help reduce the common barriers many students face as they plan for education and training beyond high school. But changing the postsecondary-going landscape will require more than just state-level action. We must continue to rely on local chambers of commerce, which play an essential role in accelerating economic mobility by identifying our critical workforce needs and helping raise the visibility of businesses that can be innovative partners with local public school systems. In West Tennessee, the Ford Motor Company is building relationships with Memphis-Shelby County Schools to prepare students for possible careers at BlueOval City. The company also continues efforts with other local districts to find ways their schools can align curriculum, hands-on training, and work-based learning opportunities. In particular, at Cordova High School, students are eligible to take industry-focused courses that lead to an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. With an ASE certification and depending on the position, workers could make between $21 to $29 per hour at BlueOval SK, part of BlueOval City’s future $5.6 billion campus in nearby Stanton, TN. As more employers put roots down in our state, Tennessee has an opportunity to take advantage of new initiatives that offer every student access to postsecondary and career success. Yet, without more active partnerships and CTE programming in our high schools, many students will not have the leverage to take on future workforce opportunities. Ensuring Tennessee’s students are prepared and motivated to pursue the jobs of today and tomorrow will take school districts, chambers of commerce, state and local governments, businesses, and elected officials working together to strengthen our workforce pipeline, develop our students, and grow Tennessee from within. While no two students' paths will look the same, their K-12 education must set them up for successful lives and economic independence.

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  • Tennessee State Board of Education Seeks to Develop an Educator Licensure Review Committe

    Thursday, November 30, 2023 | 12:00pm

    Tennessee recognizes the need to have a sufficient supply of excellent educators to meet the needs of the state. The State Board of Education’s, Master Plan 2022-2025, includes a specific strategic focus on “Teachers and Leaders” and states as follows: All schools are staffed with qualified and effective educators. The State Board of Education (State Board) staff, working with the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), have started the process to identify recommendations that will ensure that the licensure system and policies meet Tennessee’s needs. To ensure the licensure system is reviewed often, the State Board’s Executive Director seeks to develop an Educator Licensure Review Committee. The Committee will convene at least annually to examine state law, and State Board rules and policies to highlight areas of strength, while identifying challenges, and potential changes. Recommendations will be made to the Executive Director of the State Board for consideration. The Committee will represent all regions of the state and include educators, district and state education leaders, and legislators. Through this Committee, educator licensure requirements and related board rules and policies will be discussed alongside issues faced by educators and districts. Convening on a regular cadence to discuss key issues will ensure ongoing reflection with regard to this complex, yet critical, policy issue. Work to Date Beginning in Spring 2023, staff from the State Board and TDOE began convening with the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) to create a draft vision and guiding principles for educator licensure and to identify key issues within the current system through surveying key stakeholders across the state. Both the Vision and Principles and the key issues will serve as a focus of initial discussions of the Committee. Key Issues Early discussions and engagement with stakeholders indicate that there are a few key issues that warrant investigation and potential action in the initial stages of the Committee. These issues include: Continued use of the edTPA as a licensure requirement for candidates completing undergraduate and traditional post-baccalaureate preparation programs; Evaluation of requirements for occupational licensure and accessibility of licensure pathways for prospective educators transitioning from industry; Improvement of communication of more recently developed pathways to licensure; and Identification of needs related to restructuring of current endorsements and creation of new endorsements. To read a full overview of the committee, read here. If you are interested in being considered for this Committee, please send a statement of interest to Michael Deurlein, Deputy Executive Director of Policy and Research (Michael.J.Deurlein@tn.gov), no later than January 15, 2024.

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  • Tennessee State Board of Education Releases First Annual Master Plan Report

    Tuesday, November 14, 2023 | 01:00pm

    The State Board of Education is pleased to release our first annual Master Plan Report which focuses on state-wide outcomes and the State Board’s efforts to ensure our rules, policies, and systems are working together to support student success. In 2022, the State Board revised its plan for K-12 education to elevate four intentional strategic focus areas and to set ambitious yet attainable incremental goals. The 2023 Report outlines the State Board’s key focus areas, the steps we have taken over the last year to strengthen rules, policies, and systems, and Tennessee’s state-wide outcomes to date. “We share this information with the understanding that we must be transparent about our outcomes, measure our progress, and construct innovative solutions together. Please continue to engage with your appointed board member as we work together to ensure all students in Tennessee are prepared for postsecondary and life success,” says State Board Chairman Bob Eby and Executive Director, Dr. Sara Morrison The State Board is charged by state law, T.C.A. § 49-1-302 with developing and maintaining a master plan for public education, kindergarten through grade twelve, and providing recommendations to the executive branch, the general assembly and the local boards of education and directors of schools regarding the use of public funds for education. The State Board’s master plan provides a lens through which all Tennesseans can examine state-level efforts and determine if rules and policies are positioning school districts to effectively prepare Tennessee students for workforce, post-secondary success, and productive citizenship. The State Board regularly evaluates progress and updates its master plan to inform recommendations regarding the use of public funds for education every three years. The master plan can be viewed on the State Board website here. ###

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  • Here's how we can ensure K12 and higher education rise to meet employers' needs

    Thursday, August 31, 2023 | 12:50pm

    Tennessee is home to some of the country’s most successful businesses and largest corporations, yet employers often tell us that too many graduates from our local schools and higher education institutions do not possess the durable skills like critical thinking and teamwork or the in-demand, technical skills needed to acquire and retain viable, lucrative jobs. In fact, a Boyd Center survey of Tennessee business leaders revealed that nearly seven out of 10 leaders believed there are not enough appropriately trained workers in today’s job market. Further, more than 40% of these executives believe that stronger education and training are needed to expand the supply of future workers who are prepared for jobs with the most in-demand skills. Fortunately, many employers, parents, state leaders, and policymakers are working to align their efforts to provide students with solid foundations for successful futures. Tennessee employers are taking big steps to partner with K-12 and higher education to prepare today's students to meet their talent needs. Across K-12 and higher education, several of these innovative, industry-led models are surfacing to meet both student interest and workforce needs and many of the most innovative models in the country are right here in Tennessee. There are currently 11 Robertson County students enrolled in a dual enrollment program through the Tennessee College of Applied Technology. Models include middle college programs where students earn an associate degree at the same time as they earn their high school diploma; Advanced Placement (AP) and dual enrollment classes that prepare students for traditional post-secondary degree programs; and other partnership programs where students earn industry credentials. For example, Chattanooga’s Construction Career Center in Hamilton County Schools provides 11th- and 12th-grade students with coursework that enables them to earn at least five certifications in construction while still in high school. Students attend high school in the morning or afternoon and are provided transportation to the center for the other half of the school day. Similarly, high school seniors attending Jackson-Madison County Schools can participate in the Local Options & Opportunities Program (LOOP). LOOP allows students to earn high school credit for completing a paid work-based learning opportunity. Industry placements include working on-site at some of Madison County’s largest employers, such as West Tennessee Healthcare and Jackson Energy Authority. We know urban, suburban, and rural communities in Tennessee may have different needs. In rural Hardeman County, local employers may need to fill positions in areas such as crop and animal production, while in Davidson County, the health care industry is Nashville's largest employer, contributing to 167,916 direct jobs annually. We must ensure students, educators, and employers have the flexibility and support needed to make sure the unique needs of each of our communities are met. There are many great reasons why our state has become a magnet for business and attracted so many new residents. But as Tennessee’s dynamic economy continues to grow, it’s critical that K-12 and higher education rise to meet employer needs by providing greater skills-based, workforce-relevant learning opportunities to students throughout our state. In September, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), will bring together business and education leaders from across the state for the Future Forward Summit to explore ways in which industry and education can partner to improve better educational and workforce outcomes for students and employers. We hope that real ideas and solutions can be brought to the table to help more employers partner with local educators to ensure all Tennessee students receive credentials of value in high school and higher education so they can be better prepared for Tennessee’s rapidly expanding job market. For over a decade, Tennessee has led the way in educational innovations. Now it’s time to zero in on the needs of our future workforce by aligning education with clear career pathways. We are confident that with key business stakeholders working together with state leaders and local educators, Tennessee’s students will not only receive a high-quality education, but also the skills and experiences they need for a lifetime of career success.

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  • Governor Appoints Local Student to Tennessee State Board of Education

    Wednesday, August 30, 2023 | 09:30am

    Governor Bill Lee has appointed Laurel Cox, a senior at Cascade High School in Bedford County Schools, to the Tennessee State Board of Education. As a student representative, Ms. Cox will join the board effective immediately and will serve at the November 3, 2023 quarterly meeting. She will carry out her role through August 3, 2024. “We are delighted to have Laurel serve as our State Board student member,” said Dr. Sara Morrison, executive director of the State Board of Education. “Her insight and perspective will ground our conversations as we discuss policies and rules that impact Tennessee’s students.” Ms. Cox is passionate about pursuing education in agriculture and is actively involved in the National FFA Organization. She recently served as the 2022-2023 Middle Tennessee FFA Regional President as a junior, working closely with Tennessee’s agriculture leaders. She has held various leadership positions within Cascade FFA, working to promote careers in Tennessee’s extensive agriculture industry. This past summer, Ms. Cox attended the Tennessee Governor’s School for Agricultural Sciences, studying agribusiness and veterinary science under industry professionals.

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  • Governor Appoints Local Teacher to Tennessee State Board of Education

    Wednesday, July 05, 2023 | 09:40am

    (NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Governor Bill Lee has appointed Krissi McInturff, a sixth-grade teacher at Indian Middle School in Johnson City Schools to the Tennessee State Board of Education. As a representative for Tennessee’s first Congressional District, Mrs. McInturff will join the board at the August quarterly meeting and will serve on the State Board of Education through March 31, 2028. As a Tennessee public school teacher for 15 years, she has served in many leadership roles, including as one of Washington County’s TNCORE Learning Leaders, chairing various school committees, and being named the 2015 Washington County Teacher of the Year. “We are delighted to welcome Mrs. McInturff as our newest member of the state board. As a current TN teacher and education leader, she will bring an important perspective to state-level policy discussions,” said Dr. Sara Morrison, executive director of the State Board of Education. The Tennessee State Board of Education is composed of 11 members representing the diversity of the state – one from each congressional district, plus a student member, and the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission who serves as non-voting ex officio member. Board members are unpaid Governor’s appointments, confirmed by the legislature and selected based on a passion for service to the people of Tennessee and the education of Tennessee’s children. ###

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  • State Board of Education Seeks Public Feedback to Advance Tennessee’s Social Studies Education Standards

    Monday, February 27, 2023 | 01:40pm

    (NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — The Tennessee State Board of Education launched its second survey to collect public feedback on the state’s newly revised K-12 social studies academic standards earlier today, requesting public feedback through March 26, 2023. The K-12 social studies standards set grade-specific goals that establish what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of a given grade or course. Tennessee’s Academic Standards for social studies include not only key facts and information about social studies, but also concept strands like culture, economics, geography, history, politics/government, and Tennessee history. Social studies practices such as collecting data from primary and secondary sources and constructing arguments by citing supporting evidence are integrated into how the standards are delivered to students.

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  • State Board Releases 2022 Charter School Authorizer Evaluation Outcomes

    Tuesday, February 21, 2023 | 12:00am

    NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — During its February quarterly meeting last week, the State Board of Education released the outcomes for the 2022 charter school authorizer evaluations, which ensure the effective operation of all authorizers and evaluate authorizer quality. The State Board was charged with conducting periodic charter school authorizer evaluations by the Tennessee General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session. Under the statutory requirement, the State Board developed an evaluation system based on its Quality Charter Authorizing Standards Policy and was the fourth state to adopt an authorizer evaluation process.

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  • State Board of Education Elects New Officers

    Tuesday, February 21, 2023 | 12:00am

    (Nashville, TN) The State Board of Education conducted its election of new officers at the Board’s quarterly meeting held February 10 in Nashville. Mr. Robert Eby, representing the third congressional district, was elected Chairman. Eby was appointed to the State Board of Education in 2018 by Governor Bill Haslam and served two terms as vice-chairman. He served 16 years on the Oak Ridge Board of Education. Eby is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with degrees in Chemical Engineering. He previously served as the Plant Manager at the 4,000-person Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, as well as serving as the Executive Vice-President of Navarro Research and Engineering Company. Eby is also currently a board member for the KFI, a local organization dedicated to supporting the Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville, and is on the Global Community Fellowship Board, a missionary Board to support Mayan people.

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