• 16 Dec 2016 2:24 PM | Anonymous

    Three big announcements from the Administration yesterday, including one on science assessments (highlighted below).  Jodi

    Today, the White House and the U.S. Department of Education are bringing together state and district leaders, along with many other educators, to discuss the impact of the Testing Action Plan  and what more can be done to ensure that tests are better, fairer, and fewer.  As part of the event, the Department of Education is announcing additional resources and guidance for states and school districts aligned with the Testing Action Plan, including nearly $8 million in grants to the Maryland and Nebraska State Departments of Education to develop new and innovative ways to measure science achievement that can serve as models for other states.  (more info on that below, highlighted)

    Further, the Department is announcing the release of two Notices of Final Regulations (NFRs) that implement provisions of Title I of the ESSA, including the final regulation for state assessment systems under Title I, Part A, and the final regulation under Title I, Part B.  Below, we’ve included the letter that was sent today to all Chief State School Officers that includes links to the final regulations, as well as the White House Fact Sheet outlining the release.  For your ease, the Department has developed a summary document on both NFRs that can be found here.

    And yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education posted non-regulatory guidance on the teacher preparation regulations at http://www.ed.gov/teacherprep. 

     $8 Million in Grants to Make Tests BetterThe Department of Education is announcing nearly $8 million in funding to the Maryland State Department of Education and the Nebraska Department of Education through its Enhanced Assessment Instruments Competitive Grant Program (EAG).  This round of EAG provides resources to improve the quality of state assessments used to measure academic achievement, to provide opportunities for innovation through the use of technology and the development of new, innovative item types, and to develop better scoring mechanisms for communicating and using assessment results to support teachers and students.  President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget included a $34 million request for “Competitive Assessment Grants,” the successor to the Enhanced Assessment Grants program under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The two projects funded this year support the work of to two consortia that represent eight states to develop high-quality science assessments.

    • The Innovations in Science Map, Assessment, and Report Technologies (I-SMART) Project, led by the Maryland State Department of Education and in partnership with Missouri, New York, New Jersey, and Oklahoma, will produce innovative science assessments aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards to support comprehensive alternate assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.  It will contain multiple measures of student progress over time, develop a science learning map that includes multiple pathways for students to learn science content and reach challenging grade-level expectations, and also deliver score reports that improve the information about student performance that is shared with educators and families.
    • The Strengthening Claims-Based Interpretations and Uses of Local and Large-Scale Science Assessments (SCILLSS) project, led by the Nebraska Department of Education in partnership with Montana and Wyoming, aims to improve the quality of statewide science assessments.  The project will leverage existing tools and expertise to generate more resources to strengthen states’ ability to create and evaluate quality science assessments.  The project will also engage state and local educators to clarify the interpretations and uses of assessments scores and to create tools to improve the usefulness of student performance results.


  • 25 Sep 2015 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    Review the new Science Standards and give your feedback. This website will provide you with the opportunity to review and offer feedback on what students should be expected to know by the end of each K-12 school year for science.

    The Tennessee State Board of Education is responsible for reviewing academic standards and recent legislation (Public Chapter 423) outlines the process for reviewing standards and builds on the revision work that was already underway for science standards. Initial revisions to science standards were developed by teams of educators from throughout the state during the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015. These initial revisions are the standards you will find posted on this site.

    The SBE will work in conjunction with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) to collect all of the comments submitted to this website. Educator development teams will review the website feedback during the winter of 2015 and make additional revisions. Another draft set of standards will be posted in spring 2016 and an appointed Standards Recommendation Committee will make the ultimate recommendation for new science standards to the State Board of Education in summer 2016. For information regarding the standards review process, visit http://tn.gov/sbe/topic/standards-review or email TNStandardsReview@tn.gov

    Link


  • 29 Aug 2015 11:28 AM | Anonymous

    This fall, Congressional leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate—lead by Senator Lamar Alexander—will be working to reconcile the House and Senate education bills that would rewrite the No Child Left Behind.  While the Senate bill includes language that would provide states with a dedicated program for STEM, the House legislation does not include a STEM program.

    Now is the time for TN voters to reach out to Senator Alexander and ask him to ensure that the final bill to reauthorize No Child Left Behind includes the STEM program language in the Senate bill (Every Child Achieves Act , S.1177, Title II, Part E, Section 2005)

    Please take a moment and join me in advocating for STEM education in Tennessee. Visit this website, where you can customize the letter that will go directly to Senator Alexander.

    You can also forward this email to your colleagues and others in Tennessee and ask them to reach out to Senator Alexander.

    Thank you.

    Learn more in this issue of NSTA’s  Legislative Update


  • 20 Apr 2015 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    Education Standards Debate Continues: Leaders Seek Compromise

    On Tuesday, the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee amended SB1163/HB1035 by Sen. Bell (R-Riceville) and Rep. Spivey (R-Lewisburg) to require legislative approval of appointments made to the newly created legislative standards review committee. In the bill’s current amended form, the standards review committee will be composed of ten appointments by the Governor and speakers from both houses following the current legislative session and will require approval upon the legislature’s return in 2016. The House version is scheduled for a floor vote on Monday (4/20). If passed, the education standards compromise bill would still incorporate the current education standards review process established by Gov. Haslam last year and will be headed up by the State Board of Education, utilizing both professional input as well as citizen comments. The committees will provide input and suggestions on current standards and the adoption of new standards. To view the newly adopted House amendment, please click here. We urge all members to contact your legislator and encourage them to vote for this bill with only the agreed upon compromise amendments. 

     

    The letter can be as simple as

     

    Dear Representative or Senator ___________;

    I am writing, as one of your constituents from your district, to encourage you to support SB1163/HB1035 with only the agreed upon compromise amendments. 

     

    Sincerely:

     

    YOUR NAME

     

    Go to http://www.capitol.tn.gov/  and click on Find my legislature to get the emails of the legislators.
  • 13 Feb 2015 6:12 PM | Anonymous

    Highlights

    • While it was a year of transition for Tennessee teachers and students as they fully implemented the state’s new standards in math and English, scores increased on the majority of assessments.
    • Nearly 50 percent of Algebra II students are on grade level, up from 31 percent in 2011. More than 13,000 additional Tennessee students are on grade level in Algebra II than when we first administered the test in 2011.
    • High school English scores grew considerably over last year’s results in English I and English II.
    • Achievement gaps for minority students narrowed in math and reading at both the 3-8 and high school levels.
    • Approximately 100,000 additional Tennessee students are on grade level in math compared to 2010.
    • More than 57,000 additional Tennessee students are on grade level in science compared to 2010.


  • 13 Feb 2015 6:02 PM | Anonymous

    The governor’s budget proposal includes nearly $170 million for K-12 education, including:

    • $100 million dollars for increasing teacher salaries, which amounts to a four percent pool that local education associations (LEAs) will have available as they make local decisions to increase teacher pay;
    • Nearly $44 million to fully fund the Basic Education Program; and
    • $5 million to create the Educators’ Liability Trust Fund to offer liability insurance to Tennessee teachers at no cost to them.

    Notable higher education investments include:

    • $260 million for capital projects, including new science facilities at Jackson State Community College and the University of Tennessee, nearly $25 million for improvements to colleges of applied technology across the state and funding for a fine arts classroom building at East Tennessee State University;
    • $25 million to fully fund the Complete College Act formula; and
    • $10 million for need-based scholarships for students;

     The budget also includes specific workforce development investments geared to the governor’s Drive to 55 effort including:

    • $2.5 million for statewide outreach efforts geared toward adult students, technical assistance to local communities that are finding ways to support adult learners, and a one-stop portal for adults;
    • $2.5 million to support the success of the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program which address remediation in high school;
    • $1.5 million to provide last dollar scholarships to adults with some post-secondary credit to attend community college;
    • $1 million to establish competitive grants to 2-year and 4-year institutions to develop initiatives specifically designed for veterans; and
    • $400,000 to establish the Tennessee Promise Bridge Program, which will bring first-generation college students to campus prior to fall enrollment, which is one more step in making sure they have the best chance possible to succeed.


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