• State Board of Education Seeks Public Feedback on Social Studies Academic Standards

    Monday, June 20, 2022 | 08:45am

    Today, the State Board of Education launched the initial public review period for Tennessee’s Academic Standards for social studies, requesting feedback from the public through July 18, 2022. Established in law in 2015, Tennessee’s process for updating the academic standards on math, English language arts, social studies and science is among the most transparent and comprehensive in the nation. This initial public survey on the social studies academic standards begins a year-long process that includes two rounds of public feedback and multiple committees of Tennessee educators. “Public feedback is critical to continuously refining our state academic standards and ensuring that they provide educators, students and parents with clear expectations at each grade level,” said Dr. Sara Morrison, executive Director of the State Board of Education. “The extensive and transparent standards review process, set out by law, is integral to our collective efforts to prepare civically engaged Tennessee students.”

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  • Latest Educator Preparation Report Card Shows Long Term Improvement in Tennessee

    Tuesday, February 15, 2022 | 12:00pm

    On Tuesday, the State Board of Education Released its sixth annual Educator Preparation Report Card, a tool that evaluates preparation providers (EPPs) in Tennessee, indicating progress on the state’s key priority metrics. Previously produced by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the State Board redesigned the Educator Preparation Report Card in 2016 to become a user-friendly web-based resource for aspiring teachers, local school districts, and EPPs themselves. Since taking ownership of the Report Card, state-level data shows long-term positive trends in high-demand endorsements, teacher diversity, and second-year retention. On the 2016 Report Card, just 22 percent of teacher candidates earned endorsements in high-demand areas such as special education, ESL, secondary science, and secondary math. However, the 2021 Report Card indicates 28 percent of teacher candidates earned one or more high-demand endorsements. During that same time period, the percentage of teacher candidates from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds increased from 13.8 percent to 15.9 percent. Teacher retention also rose slightly, with the percentage of new teachers retained for at least two years in Tennessee public schools increasing from 91.1 percent to 92.9 percent.

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  • The American Dream with a Tennessee Twist

    Wednesday, February 09, 2022 | 09:00am

    Tennessee is a rising star among states. U-Haul recently published its annual Growth Index Report that ranks states according to in-demand one-way truck rentals. Tennessee has been ranked in the top 10 states since 2017 and is now contending with Texas and Florida for the top 3 slots (we were #1 in 2020 and #3 in 2021). Tennessee’s rising popularity is not a fluke of circumstance. There are reasons why our state is attracting new residents, new businesses, and new opportunities. While we should be encouraged by these trends, we should not be satisfied. There are still many families and children who would choose a better life if given the opportunity. We can do better and we must do better, but change requires leadership and it’s not always easy or popular. Gov. Bill Lee, in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Education, recently announced an effort to invest more thoughtfully in Tennessee’s one million K-12 students. One important component of Gov. Lee’s Draft Framework for Student Success emphasizes career and technical education during a student’s high school years. This is a good example of the type of policy and leadership that is helping Tennessee propel beyond peer states, but the reason may not be obvious.

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  • State Board Launches New Charter School Authorizer Evaluation Process

    Monday, February 07, 2022 | 11:15am

    During its February quarterly meeting last week, the State Board of Education released its first set of 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. As of 2022, Tennessee is only the fourth state to adopt an authorizer evaluation process.

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  • February Quarterly Meeting to be Held Remotely

    Wednesday, February 02, 2022 | 02:46pm

    Due to the potential for inclement weather on Friday, February 4, 2022, the State Board of Education will conduct its quarterly meeting remotely. Information on the meeting page has been updated to reflect this change. The quarterly workshop scheduled for February 3, 2022, will still be held in person at the Tennessee Board of Regents. All meeting information for both the meeting and workshop is available on the State Board of Education's meeting calendar.

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  • State Board of Education Seeks Public Feedback to Advance Tennessee's Science Education Standards

    Monday, January 31, 2022 | 10:45am

    The Tennessee State Board of Education launched its second survey to collect public feedback on the state’s newly revised K-12 science academic standards earlier today. The K-12 science 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. During the two public review periods, the State Board invites Tennesseans to share their feedback on the state’s K-12 science standards through an online survey. Members of the public can review the recommended changes to all sections of Tennessee’s science standards. The survey includes options to indicate whether a standard should be kept, changed, removed, or moved to a different grade level, as well as space to indicate if a new standard should be added.

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  • Education Recovery and Innovation Commission Reimagines High School in Second Annual Report

    Friday, December 10, 2021 | 12:46pm

    On Friday, the state’s Education Recovery and Innovation Commission (ERIC) published its second report on enhancing kindergarten to career preparation, including a recommendation to redesign Tennessee’s high schools by creating flexible pathways to college and career. ERIC’s year two report, A Revitalization: Transforming Education in Tennessee, identifies nine priority areas aimed at pandemic recovery and modernization of the state’s kindergarten to career education systems. Between offering flexible postsecondary pathways in high school, adding Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) in Tennessee Transfer Pathways, addressing gaps in early literacy, expanding and diversifying the educator workforce, and incentivizing innovation at the local level, the year two report forms actionable recommendations for Tennessee to emerge as a leader in education and workforce development.

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  • Science is a Key to America’s Future

    Monday, November 01, 2021 | 09:46am

    By Bob Eby, State Board of Education Vice-Chair At the heart of every field — medicine, education, and manufacturing to name a few — there is a constant need to ask questions and learn more information. Before we can seek to change anything, we must understand what it is and how it works. This spirit of inquisitiveness is first formally taught to us all in science courses. As we learn physical science, biology, chemistry, physics, and more, we not only better understand the world, but how to research and advance our knowledge of any subject. As a chemical engineer, science has shaped every step of my career. For more than 48 years, I have worked in applied research and development. During this period, I have been a co-author of three patents and seen major advancements in all areas of science and technology. Even now “in retirement” I am able to serve as a senior technical consultant to the National Nuclear Security Administration and work on some of our country’s most important future needs in an evolving environment. Science offers our students a valuable and rewarding lifelong career.

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  • Public Feedback is Advancing Tennessee’s Science Education Standards

    Friday, October 15, 2021 | 02:54pm

    On September 19, 2021, the first round of the State Board of Education’s science academic standards review cycle closed, collecting over 10,000 comments from teachers, education leaders, and parents. During the initial review period from August - September of this year, Tennesseans were invited to share their feedback on the state’s K-12 academic standards for science through an online survey. Members of the public were able to review the existing standards for all sections of the state’s science education standards as they shared comments. The survey offered options to indicate whether a standard should be kept, changed, removed, or moved to a different grade level, as well as space to indicate if a new standard should potentially be added. “Reviewing Tennessee’s science academic standards is the design process in action and helps ensure a higher level of learning is attained by students through teacher instruction,” said Brandi Stroecker, director of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. “Including a wide range of stakeholders — such as parents, educators, and even students — creates a rich and robust set of standards by including multiple perspectives as they work to articulate the essential core knowledge and skills students should master.” With the conclusion of the first survey window, teams of Tennessee educators from K-12 schools and higher education will soon begin reviewing the public comments and propose revisions. Early in 2022, the revisions will become available again for public input in a second survey.

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  • Ten Years of Education Improvements

    Thursday, August 26, 2021 | 10:34am

    By Mike Edwards, State Board of Education member Having served on the State Board of Education for ten years now, I am struck by the many education changes we’ve seen in that time. When I served on the education committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we gave Tennessee an “F” for “truth in advertising” in education: while state assessments indicated that almost all students were proficient, national assessments like NAEP and the ACT indicated a much lower rate of preparation for post-secondary and career success. It has been important to me to identify and share reliable data on public education ever since to avoid this gap between the reported data and actual student outcomes. One area that I have focused on is educator preparation. Ten years ago, folks knew very little about the inner workings of each educator preparation provider (EPP). In between program reviews, there was no way of knowing whether an EPP was excelling or struggling. This knowledge gap limited our ability to make effective policy decisions about educator preparation, despite these programs being critical to building a strong pool of teachers.

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  • Tennesseans Invited to Submit Feedback on Science Academic Standards

    Monday, August 23, 2021 | 09:00am

    The State Board of Education is inviting residents to share their feedback on the Tennessee Academic Standards for science through Sunday, September 19, 2021. Established in law in 2015, Tennessee’s process for updating academic standards on math, English language arts, social studies and science is among the most transparent and comprehensive in the nation. This initial public survey on the science academic standards begins a year-long process that includes two rounds of public feedback and multiple committees of Tennessee educators. The Tennessee Academic Standards for science include not only key facts and information about science, but also crosscutting concepts like examining cause and effect or using system models to understand a process. Science and engineering practices like analyzing and interpreting data and carrying out investigations are also integrated into the academic standards.

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  • State Board Streamlines Out of State Educator Licensure

    Thursday, July 01, 2021 | 04:08pm

    On Thursday, members of the State Board of Education met to vote on time-sensitive emergency rules, including the Educator Licensure Emergency Rule. This item streamlines pathways for educators licensed in other states to obtain a Tennessee license. The emergency rule also includes provisions to allow formerly licensed Tennessee teachers with an active out of state license to reactivate their Tennessee license. “We know districts are making final hiring decisions now for the upcoming school year, and they need to be sure prospective educators are eligible to obtain a license,” said Dr. Sara Morrison, executive director of the State Board of Education. “That is why we convened this meeting to update our rules the same day that recent statutory changes went into effect.” The provisions included in the Educator Licensure Emergency Rule were established earlier this year in Public Chapters 125 and 493. These laws go into effect on July 1, 2021. By aligning the State Board’s educator licensure rule with the recently passed laws, educators can have their licensure applications processed more quickly. These changes will help local education agencies (LEAs) with hiring decisions over the summer. During the special called meeting, members of the Board considered two other emergency rules in the areas of virtual education and quarantine protocols. The Public Virtual Schools Emergency Rule clarifies the difference between full-time virtual schools and virtual course options a student may take to expand their educational opportunities while enrolled in their traditional school. These options can include advanced or accelerated course programs as well as remedial opportunities.

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