McQueen Leaving TNDOE

After what can charitably be called a rocky tenure at the helm of the Tennessee Department of Education, Candice McQueen has miraculously landed another high-level job. This time, she’ll takeover as CEO of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, an organization apparently not at all concerned about the track record of new hires or accountability.

In a press release, the organization says:

“Candice McQueen understands that highly effective teachers can truly transform the lives of our children, our classrooms, our communities and our future,” said Lowell Milken. “Dr. McQueen’s deep experience in developing and supporting great teachers and her proven leadership in working with so many state and local partners will enable us to expand and strengthen NIET’s work across the country. Dr. McQueen will build on the 250,000 educators, 30,000 teacher leaders and 2.5 million students already impacted by NIET to better develop teacher leaders, increase student achievement and provide greater opportunities for all students. We are so pleased to have her on board and leading us from our new base of operations in Nashville.”

Apparently, they missed most of the past four years. Certainly, they missed this key element on teacher effectiveness:

Here’s a key piece of information in a recent story in the Commercial Appeal:

The report admits an inability to draw a direct, causal link from the changes in teacher evaluations, implemented during the 2011-12 school year, and the subsequent growth in classrooms across the state.

Over the same years, the state has also raised its education standards, overhauled its assessment and teacher preparation programs and implemented new turnaround programs for struggling schools.

Whatever NIET’s motives, teachers and parents across the state are likely to breathe a sigh of relief that the McQueen era is coming to an end. Likewise, the General Assembly will no longer be subject to her broken promises of “doing better” next time when it comes to issues like TNReady.

In fact, just today, I wrote about the need for our state to move in a new direction on testing (long overdue) and the importance of selecting a new Commissioner to lead that work.

Next: Who will Bill Lee select to lead education policy in Tennessee?

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5 thoughts on “McQueen Leaving TNDOE

  1. Despite the testing disasters, she’s still 10k better than her predecessor, Kevin Huffman. My fear is that Gov. Elect Lee will appoint another voucher freak, rather than someone who truly wants to help public education improve and move forward.

    • the testing disasters, the assault on teachers.. it was bad. Haslam made two bad choices and stood by Candice as she failed our students miserably. I’m also worried about who Lee might choose, but keeping Candice would have been a huge mistake.

  2. I am a teacher and fully support Dr. McQueen. She was handed Kevin Huffman’s mess to clean up and legislative mandates that required standardized testing. We still have those federal and state mandates! Where were the state legislators when they could have stopped the testing debacle? Not interested, apparently. Wait…, if Tennessee doesn’t test, the the feds pull our funding!!! Dr. McQueen can’t be held responsible for federal and state mandates that are ill thought out and not funded appropriately at either level.

    • Except that’s not entirely accurate… first, there’s ZERO evidence of any state losing federal funding over testing. Second, while in her first year, she did follow Huffman and the TNReady vendor chosen before she arrived, she’s in charge. Her statements RE: teachers/testing are and have been disappointing. She lied … lied about what happened with TNReady. Legislators acted in terms of accountability (hold harmless) and certainly, I think they could have done more…but I was there when Comm. McQueen and her team urged the legislature to stay the course. Big mistake…and one she encouraged.

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