Fear Factor

Last week, I reported on Jay Sekulow and the ACLJ’s attempt to profit off of fear of imagined Islamic indoctrination in Tennessee schools.

Rather than provide concrete examples of such indoctrination or respond to facts about long-standing state standards, Sekulow and his bunch of so-called religious liberty defenders are continuing the fight — the fight to get donations by way of stirring up fear.

Here’s the latest from a recent post on the ACLJ’s website:

The blatantly unconstitutional promotion of Islam in schools has garnered substantial national attention forcing the Tennessee State Board of Education to review the standards earlier than planned.

In response to questions and concerns we’ve received  from parents in Tennessee, we have sent over 146 “open records” requests to school superintendents—one request to every school district in Tennessee.

The ACLJ is requesting the information under the Tennessee Open Records Act.

We are asking  for information on exactly what students are learning about Islam and other world religions, how students are being taught this information, and what resources teachers are using.

We want to get to the bottom of this indoctrination. Where is it coming from and why is it happening?

In our letters, we are asking  for comprehensive records from school officials concerning the teaching of Islam. Specifically, among other requests, we asked that school officials provide us with:

“Any and all records concerning assignments or activities in which students of [your school district] are asked and/or required to recite prayers and/or chants, speak in Arabic or other foreign language(s), or engage in any other speech and/or conduct associated with any world religion.”

Make no mistake, the ACLJ is seeking to intimidate school districts and the state in order to gain control over curriculum. By making broad requests that may require individual teachers to produce lesson plans, ACLJ likely suspects some districts and schools will change their practices regarding current social studies instruction. Note the fact that ACLJ isn’t concerned about other world religions, only, in their own words they are, “asking  for comprehensive records from school officials concerning the teaching of Islam.”

As I noted in my last post on this topic:

With all this supposed indoctrination going on, where’s the evidence that students have converted to Islam? And then, do they convert to Buddhism later on in the semester when that subject is taught?

And now, this question: Should students only learn about Western Civilization and not the cultures with which it intersected?

Finally, with all the evidence of indoctrination that ACLJ surely expects to find in their review of documents from local districts, one wonders where all these Islamic indoctrinating Tennessee teachers are coming from and why they chose our state for their conversion experiment?

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

 

 

Hope Street Group Tennessee Fellows Announced

Hope Street Group recently announced its 2015-16 Tennessee Teacher Fellows. Here’s the press release:


 “In the past six months I have learned how powerful the voice of teachers can be when they are shared.”

These words were spoken by Karen Vogelsang, a former financial analyst turned educator and the 2015 Tennessee Teacher of the Year. Vogelsang welcomes this school year as the start of her first as a Hope Street Group Tennessee State Teacher Fellow.

Hope Street Group is an independent non-profit organization that is working closely in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education  (TDOE), the Tennessee Educators Association (TEA), and the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE). This partnership serves to provide a group of diverse public school teachers, who are chosen through a rigorous selection process, with skills around peer and community engagement, facilitating focus groups, and communication strategies while giving them opportunities to amplify teacher voice to inform policy decisions. Hope Street Group launched the program with great success in Kentucky in 2013, replicating in Hawai’i in 2014 and now in North Carolina and Tennessee.

“Teacher leaders are a driving force not only in their classrooms and
buildings, but in their communities,” Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “Their insight is incredibly powerful as we encourage and empower our teachers to take on new challenges.”

The work of the first cohorts of State Teacher Fellows (STFs) in Kentucky and Hawaii has led to their establishment as teacher leaders and advocates for their profession. In addition to providing recommendations to their respective Departments of Education, they have met with legislators and hosted school visits, and have independently written op-eds and essays that have been published in news outlets across the nation. The way these STFs have contributed to the state’s education policy decisions was a major reason Mary Elaine Vaughn, a high school math teacher and Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching finalist, decided
to apply to join the program.

“Our educational system will continue to thrive and grow through student academics only if educators collaborate and share ideas for improvement,” Vaughn reflected. “We are all in this together and cannot do our jobs effectively without other educators’ input and support.”

Vaughn, one of the 30 teachers awarded the Hope Street Group Fellowship this year, belongs to a burgeoning teacher leadership movement within Tennessee. This movement is evident up to the federal level, where the U.S. Department of Education has emphasized empowering teachers to improve the  education process through its Teaching Ambassador Fellowship Program, which counts
new Tennessee STF Josalyn Tresvant McGhee as a recent selection, to the Teach to Lead program, a partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

“Educators are on the ground, working with students every day. Their
 insight is critical when it comes to crafting meaningful education policy,” Keilani Goggins, Tennessee State Teacher Fellow Program Director stated. “I’m confident that this cohort of teacher leaders will do exceptional work engaging their peers and collaborating with our partners to gather input and feedback.”

This first year, Hope Street Group Tennessee State Teacher Fellows will
 focus on Professional Learning and Teacher Leadership as the topics of their data collection. Educators can join the professional learning networks of the newly selected teachers here.

The 30 teachers selected to be Tennessee’s first State Teacher Fellows are:
   1.  Jarred Amato, High School English Teacher, Nashville

  2.  Mark Banasiak, K-5th Grade Physical Educator, Clarksville

3.  Michael Bradburn, Instructional Coach, Alcoa

4. Monica Brown, 4th Grade Reading, Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher, Memphis


5.
April Carrigan, K–4th Grade Math Coach, Fairview

6. Lara Charbonnet, 12th Grade AP English Literature and Honors English Teacher, Collierville


7.
Natalie Coleman, 7th Grade Reading and Writing Teacher, Hendersonville

8. Tina Faust, Instructional Technology Specialist, Morristown


9. Rebecca Few, Mathematics Instructional Coach, Murfreesboro

10. Julia Geiger, 5th Grade Teacher, Rogersville


11. Adam Guidry, 10-12th Grade – Engineering Practicum, Computer Aided Drafting, Geographical Systems Teacher, Nashville


12. Debbie Hickerson, 5th Grade Teacher, Murfreesboro


13.  Melinda Hirschmann, 6-8th Grade Reading Intervention and Language Arts Teacher, Old Hickory


14.
 Melody Hobbs, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher/Program Coordinator, Lenoir City


 15. Cheryl Killebrew, Instructional Facilitator/Federal Programs
 Coordinator, Robertson County


16.
Blake Lam, 7th Grade Math Teacher, Memphis


17. Nikki Lavigne, Intervention Specialist, Clarksville

18. Nancy Miles, 3rd Grade Teacher, Johnson City


 19. Brian Moffitt, 7-8th Grade History and Technology Teacher, Union City


 20. Crystal Nelson, Music Teacher/RTI Interventionist, Camden


21.  Michelle Polier, Special Education Math Instructional Coordinator,  Cleveland


22.
Dana Siegel, K-5th Grade, ESL Teacher, Collierville

23. Michael Stein, 10th Grade Tier III Intervention, 11th Grade ESL and English 3, English 3 Honors Teacher, Manchester


24. Alicia (Pam) Thompson, Literacy Leader, Roane County


25. Alisha Thompson, Literacy Leader, Philadelphia


 26. Josalyn Tresvant, 5th Grade ELA Teacher, Cordova


27.  Mary (Elaine) Vaughan, High School Secondary Mathematics Teacher, Oak Ridge


28.
Karen Vogelsang, 4th Grade Teacher, Cordova


29. Marc Walls, High School Science Teacher, Clarksville


30. Comeshia Williams, PLC Coach, Memphis

Hope Street Group is a national organization that works to ensure every American will have access to tools and options leading to economic opportunity and prosperity. For more information, visit:
 www.hopestreetgroup.org

 

 

Welcome Jon Alfuth

We are pleased to announce the addition of our newest writer, Jon Alfuth.

Jon is a teacher and administrator in Memphis and has done outstanding writing at Bluff City Ed. He’ll bring coverage of education issues as they impact Shelby County to Tennessee Education Report.

He’s written about the BEP and how it impacts Shelby County and he’s written about TVAAS and how misusing it can negatively impact both teachers and students. He’s done so much more in his time at Bluff City Ed and we are delighted to have him on board.

Here’s his official bio:

Jon Alfuth is a teacher and administrator at the Soulsville Charter School in Memphis, TN. He previously worked as a teacher in legacy-Memphis City Schools. Jon blogged previously at bluffcityeducation.com and contributes regularly to print and online publications including the Commercial Appeal and the Huffington Post. Jon is an alumnus of Teach for America as well as Teach Plus and SCORE’s policy fellows programs. He earned his B.S. and M.P.A from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Follow him at @jwalnuth and @bluffcityed

 

Financed by Fear: Jay Sekulow and the Imaginary Muslim Menace

Have you heard about it? Hundreds of seventh grade students all across Tennessee converting to Islam after their world history class. It’s happening everywhere. In rural and urban communities. It’s happening because Tennessee teachers are not just teaching world religions, they are specifically focusing on Islam and indoctrinating our children. They must be, with so many conversions happening every single week.

Actually, so far, no one has reported a single conversion of any student to Islam after taking a seventh grade history class. But you wouldn’t know that if you read the emails from Jay Sekulow’s ACLJ:

aclj email paint

Sekulow surely knows that the ideas espoused in his email are preposterous, but he persists. Likely because he knows ginning up this kind of fear is rather profitable. This report from 2011 details just how profitable his enterprises are.

While fear-mongering for cash is nothing new, it’s dangerous when it impacts the teaching and learning going on in Tennessee classrooms. In response to concerns magnified by Sekulow, the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Dolores Gresham, sent a letter asking the Commissioner of Education to ensure Tennessee teachers aren’t indoctrinating kids with Muslim teachings.

Interestingly, Sekulow and Gresham aren’t concerned about indoctrination with other world religions taught over the course of the history curriculum. And so far, they haven’t expressed concern about other ideas Tennessee’s teachers may be planting in the unsuspecting heads of our state’s schoolchildren.

Nevertheless, all this “concern” has caused Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen to schedule an early review of the state’s social studies standards. Here’s her memo on the topic:

“In response to questions we have received from the field, we wanted to share clarifying and factual information on the state’s social studies standards, specifically how the standards address religion. We hope that the information below will help you respond to any questions that may arise from parents or community members.

Click Here to View the Social Studies Fact Sheet
Standards: http://tsba.us2.list-manage.com/track/click…


World History is taught at three different points in a Tennessee student’s K-12 schooling: grade 6, grade 7, and once in high school. The courses cover World History from the beginning of time to the present and are broken up as follows:

Sixth Grade: Early Civilizations through the decline of the Roman Empire
Seventh Grade: The Middle Ages to the exploration of the Americas
High School: The Industrial Revolution to the Contemporary World
Major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Shinto, are covered throughout the courses mentioned above. Although these religions will be taught at some point in these three courses, the focus on each religion will depend on the context and influence of the time period.

The attached document titled “Standards” shows the standards covering religion for the sixth- and seventh-grade courses. As you can see in the attached document, Christianity and Judaism are emphasized in the sixth-grade course while the Islamic World is covered in the seventh-grade course.

Click Here to View the Social Studies Standards: http://tsba.us2.list-manage.com/track/click…


The content of religion in our social studies standards is not new in Tennessee, but the sequence has been revised. The content of the current Islamic World standards has been included in the state’s social studies standards for many years and what students are expected to know about the Islamic World is also consistent with years prior. The new standards have simply moved what was previously spread throughout the social studies standards prior to 2013 (those standards can be found here: http://tn.gov/education/article/academic-standards-archive
) to one section in the seventh-grade World History course. Most of the current seventh-grade World History standards were previously contained in sixth-grade and can be found here: http://tn.gov/…/education/attachments/std_arch_ss_gr_6.pdf


The State Board of Education adopted the current social studies standards in July 2013. The standards were developed by a committee of Tennessee teachers and were available for the public and all Tennessee educators to review and provide feedback.

Textbooks and Curriculum

Standards are academic expectations that define what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Because districts know their students and communities best, curriculum and instruction are local decisions made by the district, schools, and teachers.

There is no state required length of time to be devoted to any topic – that is a local decision; however, the department hopes to share a sample pacing guide soon to give to teachers as an example of how much time should be devoted to any one topic.

All textbooks and supplemental materials used to teach these standards are determined at the local level. Additionally, textbooks are not prescriptive of a course’s content and sequence. For example, many people have referenced the seventh-grade textbook, Discovering our Past. While it appears that some seventh-grade teachers are covering Islam longer than Christianity, it’s important to note, that the last chapter of the sixth-grade textbook covers the rise of Christianity extensively. That chapter is repeated at the beginning of the seventh-grade textbook.

The textbook commission was recently reconstituted and the new process for textbook adoption provides more opportunity for public input. Members of the public can review books/materials by contacting their local board of education, visiting the state textbook collection site at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), and/or viewing the materials posted on the department’s website. Comments can be submitted directly to the department or members of the public can request to speak before the Textbook Commission. All public comments will be posted on the department’s website.

Additionally, the bond requirement for textbook publishers was lowered, meaning smaller publishers will now have more opportunity to bid in Tennessee.

The State Board of Education annually adopts an approved textbook list, however, districts may request a waiver to use a book not included on the state approved list.

Assessment

A social studies field test was administered in the 2014-15 school year. Only a very small number of questions were on this topic. The field test was not used for accountability purposes, but was instead a test to collect information on a wide range of questions to ensure that potential questions are fully vetted and that the operational test uses appropriate questions to assess students learning.

Next Steps

Based primarily on the results from the field test and feedback from educators and stakeholders, we have made the decision to review the social studies standards earlier than the traditional six-year cycle.

Per Public Chapter 423, passed in 2015, the social studies standards review will go through a similar process our math and ELA standards are currently undergoing beginning in January of 2016.

This process requires the State Board of Education to post the current standards to a standards review website to allow the public to review and offer feedback. Following the public online review, educator advisory teams will use their expertise and the public comments to revise the standards. The revised standards will then be reviewed by a Standards Recommendation Committee (SRC). As laid out by the General Assembly in Public Chapter 423, the SRC committee members are appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House. The SRC will then recommend the revised standards to the State Board of Education. Following this recommendation, there will be additional opportunity for stakeholder feedback before the State Board issues final approval.

The social studies standards review website will be launched in January of 2016, and we encourage educators and community members to utilize this opportunity to provide critical feedback.”

Despite the World History curriculum including learning about Islam and other world religions for years and despite the lack of any affirmative evidence of indoctrination and certainly no evidence of any child converting to Islam as a result of reading about it in a 7th grade textbook, Sekulow presses on. His bank account depends on it. The facts aren’t getting in the way of Dolores Gresham scoring political points, either.

Now, we can expect to see pressure put on those reviewing the state standards to remove or reduce any discussion of Islam and pressure put on teachers at schools to avoid discussion of the topic or its historical significance.

Legislators are also promising legislative action on the social studies curriculum — because what we really need is the Tennessee General Assembly designing curriculum for our schools.

In all of the storm over a curriculum that has been on the books for years, I go back to one central question: With all this supposed indoctrination going on, where’s the evidence that students have converted to Islam? And then, do they convert to Buddhism late on in the semester when that subject is taught?

I don’t suspect Sekulow or Gresham will be answering that question anytime soon.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

 

Education, Inc. Coming to Nashville

A coalition of education advocacy groups will be hosting a screening of the film Education, Inc. on September 1st. Here’s the press release:

Students, parents, teachers and public education advocates are gathering Tuesday, Sept. 1, for a screening and discussion on the trend of corporate takeovers of American public schools examined in the documentary Education, Inc.

Screening of the film begins at 6:00 pm followed by a panel discussion at Vanderbilt Wilson Hall 103, located at the intersection of Terrace Place and 21st Ave. (Metered parking is available around the space.) Panelists include: Nashville School Board member Will Pinkston, Nashville school teacher Amanda Kail, and Nashville parent Chelle Baldwin.

Several groups from Tennessee have come together to sponsor the event: Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence, Metropolitan Nashville Education Association, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment, Vanderbilt Students of Nonviolence and Vanderbilt Students Engaging in Education Dialogue (SEED).

“As public schools nationwide struggle for funding, complicated by the impact of poverty and politics, corporate reformers see opportunity to take away local controls of our community schools,” said Lyn Hoyt, president of Tennesseans Reclaiming Education Excellence (TREE). “It’s important we stop and take a look at what’s happening here in Tennessee.”

Education, Inc. was produced by documentary filmmakers and public school parents Brian and Cindy Malone. The Malones made the film to inform and
engage local communities across the country. They have made the film available for house parties and community screenings by simply purchasing a DVD. Their hope is that students, parents, citizens and public school advocacy groups will use the film to help start an important conversation about the role and value of public education in America.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

MNEA Backs Barry

After having endorsed Bill Freeman in the primary, the Metro Nashville Education Association is now backing Megan Barry in the Mayoral Runoff.

Here’s the press release:

The Metropolitan Nashville Education Association announced today its endorsement of Nashville mayoral candidate Megan Barry in the September run-off election.

“Serving as Nashville’s mayor, Megan would be a strong advocate for our students, educators and public schools,” said Erick Huth, MNEA president. “At a time when so many outside forces are trying to destroy public education in our community, it is important to have someone in the mayor’s office who shares our belief that supporting a system of strong public schools is the foundation for a strong, successful Nashville.”

MNEA chose to endorse Barry over her competitor David Fox who has been a vocal proponent of turning Nashville’s public schools over to charter school operators and has a history of outsourcing custodial positions to private companies.

“Nashville needs a strong, progressive leader like Megan to ensure we do not become the next New Orleans and have all of our public schools handed over to charter operators,” the MNEA president said. “She understands what Nashville students and educators need to succeed and we believe she will be committed to making sure those needs are met.”

“Megan is the clear choice for Nashville’s next mayor for anyone who believes in their local public schools and wants to see the city further its commitment to providing a quality public education to every student in Nashville,” Huth said.

 

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

 

My First Year Teaching

I made it!

I completed my first year of teaching. It was an eye opening experience that has helped mold my views in education in a variety of areas.

I am a special education teacher at a North Nashville middle school. Our fifth graders come into fifth grade already behind. It’s our job to catch them up during the middle school years before we send them off to high school. That shows me that we have dropped the ball along the way to middle school. We have come to a point where it’s okay that students come in to middle school behind. That shouldn’t be okay.

There are bad teachers and they should not be in the classroom. There isn’t more I can say about this. Every career field has bad workers, and the teaching profession is no different.

The TEAM evaluation made me a better teacher. The rubric was really helpful in my growth as a teacher. The feedback I received from my principal and assistant principal really helped. I knew what my principal expected from me and I met those expectations. I was glad that I was being held accountable.

(Don’t get me started on teacher prep programs.)

In regards to TCAP testing, I did not see the scary testing chamber where we take the fun out of education and force the students to bubble in answer sheets for days at the time. We hit the standards that needed to be hit during the year, and we cycled back through a review when we got closer to TCAP. We still taught new concepts, read new books, started new projects, and had fun. Schools decide their climate, and my climate was not like any of the scary stories that I read online. Assessments are an important tool in the education of our students. They are needed to make sure that I am doing what I am supposed to as a teacher. I am glad that the accountability is there.

 

I did a lot this school year:

I’ve broken up fights.

I’ve had to stop students from harming themselves.

I had to use our school’s resources to get a student clothing so he didn’t have to wear the same clothes every day.

I have given a legislative update to teachers.

One of our students was shot in the head while standing in the doorway to his home.

Student’s parents have been murdered.

I have seen a mother cry tears of joy that her son was receiving a quality education.

I have seen parents beam with pride about how well their student is doing in life.

A parent has yelled at me.

I’ve read all the Common Core State Standards for 7th grade.

I have taken to twitter to get someone to donate books to my class.

I have been sick. A lot.

I have given a tour to a school board member.

I have written an op-ed in the Tennessean about our school board.

I have gotten pushback from school board members about my op-ed.

After my op-ed, people inside my school told me to watch what I say in public about my school board.

I have been mad, frustrated, sad, happy, joyful, excited, and angry.

I have seen a student do better by getting more special education services.

I have seen a student grow by reducing the amount of special education services.

I have read a loud many different types of texts.

I’ve made others cry when describing students at my school.

I’ve become frustrated when teachers tell me it’s okay that students are behind because everyone else in behind.

I got students to read and enjoy books.

I’ve heard a teacher say that you can only teach a student for so long before you need to give up and help the other kids.

I have seen teachers work mornings, nights, and weekends so that our students could succeed. One teacher would teach during the day, tutor after school multiple days, tutor on Saturday, and teach Sunday school the next day.

 

No matter where our students grow up, they can all learn and succeed in our education system. I have seen students come into our school that are so behind. We have failed that child along the way. Someone dropped the ball and that makes me really sad. But we need to accept blame for dropping the ball.

 

Everyone wants to blame someone else for a child being behind:

“They came from charter.”

“They are special ed.”

“They come from a bad part of town.”

Before that student left for a charter, they were most likely in a zoned school first. All students can learn, including students with disabilities. No matter where you come from, you are able to learn at the hands of great teachers.

We want to blame everyone but ourselves. I’ve made mistakes this year, but I know that I will come back next year and fix those mistakes. I will admit that there are problems that still need to be fixed in my teaching method, in my personality, and in the school system as a whole. Sugarcoating issues in life doesn’t make it better. I would rather be honest about education than to sugarcoat and lie about the state of our education system.

Just South of Nashville

 

TC Weber offers his take on what’s happening in Williamson County.

Essentially, he’s concerned that parent groups are coming under political fire when they enter the education policy debate. Here are some highlights:

The fine:

The Registry of Election Finance voted to fine Williamson Strong a total of 5K for failure to register as a PAC and failure to file campaign expenditures. That’s right – an organization that doesn’t have a treasurer nor a fundraising mechanism was fined for not declaring themselves a PAC. Either they are the worst PAC ever or there is something a little skewered here.

The Bottom Line:

This past week, I’ve spent a fair amount of time talking to people in Williamson County about these events. What emerges is a convoluted picture that seems to have as much to do with past politics as it does with the current issues. Much of it also seems to be tied to personalities as much as policies. That should not be a surprise to anyone who has been involved with politics. It would take King Solomon to weed through all that has transpired and assign accountability. That’s a task well above my pay grade and not really the point I’m looking to make.

What is important here is to recognize and possibly prevent the use of personal issues to circumvent the democratic process. Parents should absolutely have the right to band together and champion issues they deem important. They should have the right to educate the public without fear of retribution. I obviously don’t endorse slander, but politicians should understand that reaping the benefits of certain entities also means suffering the disadvantages. To argue that there are not outside forces seeking to influence our democratic society through their financial injection, on both sides of the aisle, is either naïve or willfully ignorant.

Parents should not have to go through a cryptic bureaucracy to get involved in policy making that directly affects their children, unless they are actively raising money and financially supporting candidates at a reasonable threshold.

TC’s entire post offers lots of detail about what happened, when it happened, and what it could mean for other grassroots groups. It’s worth a read.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

PET to Host LeaderU

Professional Educators of Tennessee will host a workshop and panel discussions with the theme of “The Future is Now.” The event will be held on June 20th, 2015.

Here are the details from a press release:

Hundreds of educators will gather at LeaderU on Saturday, June
20, 2015 at the Marriott Hotel in Franklin, Tennessee  to discuss the future
of education in Tennessee as well as best practices in teaching and
administration.  This is an event for all educators, public school parents,
business and community leaders, and media who desire a better understanding
of where the state is heading with education.   This year’s theme is “The
Future is NOW.”

Tennessee Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen will outline the
state’s vision for public education at the event.  Dr. McQueen, a
Clarksville native and former teacher, will share the state’s top education
initiatives and discuss the important role education plays across the state
as well as her story of how she rose through the ranks to become Tennessee’s
chief education official. In the months ahead, Dr. McQueen faces tough
challenges as she strives to earn the trust of educators, superintendents
and lawmakers, revamp more rigorous academic standards, and establish a new
state standardized test called “TNReady
< http://www.tennessee.gov/education/assessment/TNReady.shtml> .”

State Senator Dr. Mark Green will also address attendees, describing ways
educators can become more effective leaders across the state in the
conversation on education. Senator Green draws upon his years of leadership
experience in military service, medical practice, and policymaking to assist
educators in planning their leadership strategies.

 

Other featured presenters:

Dr. Felicia Bates, Instructional Administrator, Lakewood Schools, Henry
County Schools; Adjunct Professor, Freed-Hardeman University; Samantha
Bates, Director of Member Services, Professional Educators of TN; former
middle school teacher; Timothy Carey, Media Arts Instructor, Maxwell
Elementary, Metro-Nashville Public Schools; Tim Childers, Asst. Principal at
the L&N STEM Academy, Knox County Schools; Dr. Timothy Drinkwine, Principal,
Eakin School, Metro-Nashville Public Schools; Dr. April Ebbinger, Director
of Clinical Studies, University of Tennessee – Chattanooga; Leigh Jones,
Director of Aesthetic Education Initiatives for TN Performing Arts Center
(TPAC); Karen Lawson, Social Studies instructor, West Middle School,
Tullahoma City Schools; David Lockett, Instructor, Homer Pittard Campus
School; Adjunct Professor, Middle TN State University; Susan Millican,
Adjunct professor/Professor in Residence, University of TN – Chattanooga;
Dr. Jill Pittman, Principal, Goodlettsville Middle Prep, Metro-Nashville
Public Schools; Tiffany Roan, College Savings Specialist, TN Dept. of
Treasury; Mike Sheppard, Esq., General Counsel for Professional Educators of
Tennessee; Susan Sudberry-, Instructional Technology Specialist, Tullahoma
City Schools

These education professionals will lead a total of 16 sessions such as “Why
Teach Coding?” “Take Charge of Your Professional Learning,” “Your School’s
Social Media Presence: Telling Your Own Story,” and the popular LawTalkC
series. These current issues are tailored to meet the needs of teachers and
administrators at all levels, and multiple classes are available for up to 6
TASL credits. College students and new teachers can also benefit from the
networking opportunity and classes on financial literacy, advice for new
teachers, technology, and project-based learning.

For more information or to register, visit www.leaderutn.com.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

 

Hope Street Group Seeking TN Fellows

Hope Street Group is seeking applicants for their Tennessee Teacher Fellows Program.

Here’s a brief description:

State Teachers Fellows serve as local spokespeople for educators’ ideas and perspectives. They have opportunities to broaden their understanding of state reform efforts; learn media skills; and receive continuous support in writing blog posts, op-eds, and letters to the editor. They meet directly with state policymakers to share the views of educators and to present educator-generated solutions. They also participate in statewide and national events for teachers engaged in teacher voice work.

Hope Street Group’s state teacher fellowship program was launched in Kentucky in 2013 and in Hawaii in 2014 in partnership with teacher associations. “KEA applauds Hope Street Group’s self-examination and desire to become even better at helping promote teacher participation in the issues facing public schools today,” said Mary Ann Blankenship, Executive Director of the Kentucky Education Association.

Complete Application Information

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport