Archives for category: Tennessee

Nashville Prep boasts some of the highest test scores in Tennessee.

 

Its singular goal is college preparation.

 

Fortunately, we can see what the school considers good instruction by looking at a video that is posted on its website.

 

It is called “6 Minutes with Ms. McDonalds’ 5th Grade Social Studies Class.”

 

Watch it and decide for yourself. Are these students being prepared to be successful in college? Will they be the thinkers, scientists, inventors, and innovators of the 21st century?

 

You be the judge.

Tracy O’Neill is a mom and education activist in rural Cheatham County, Tennessee. This pleasant community is now riven by a controversy, as TFA corps members seek approval to open a charter school to compete with the public schools. Aside from the financial cost to the community, the charter school will divide community support for the local schools. Tracy is running for a seat on the local school board, to be in a position to support the public schools against this effort to undermine them and set neighbor against neighbor.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 – Tracy A. O’Neill – Ashland City, TN

Cheatham County, Tennessee is a small rural community just outside of Nashville. As far as the eye can see are rolling hills and green fields. Driving down the main roads through the small towns that make up the corners of our beautiful county you find Community theaters, baseball diamonds, soccer games, and Friday night lights that fill the weeks throughout the year. One of the many benefits of living in a small country town is that we know our neighbors; we know the kids, and we are involved in our public schools.

Like many communities across the country, and the state of Tennessee, Cheatham Co has been struggling with poor leadership on our local school board and in our administration. Over the last few years, we have had a revolving door of teachers come and go for one reason or another. Due to poor decisions at the top, our lovely quiet community has become a target area for the infamous poachers of public education: Teach for America.

A few years ago, a new Director of Schools- who was bought out after one year – brought Teach for America corps members ( TFA ) to fill the “hard to fill teaching positions,” yet core subjects in the High Schools, like math, were left unfilled for months at a time. I find it ironic, and disgraceful that the Cheatham county Board of Education continues to push highly qualified, experienced educators out the door, yet continue to offer two-year contracts to unlicensed TFA recruits that have only five weeks training. What I want to know is the rationale behind this decision?

Apparently, the “solution” is being offered by two TFA Corps members who, in April, submitted an application for a Charter School to open in little ole’ Cheatham County. On June 10, 2014, a newly comprised committee appointed by the school board hosted a public meeting to ask questions of the applicants and their board members. Ironically, but not really surprisingly, 3 of the 6 members sitting at the table for the new Cumberland Academy are from Teach for America. (Jimmy Hopper, Johnny Gersten and Brian Gilmore are all TFA alums). Hopper has been teaching in our High School for the past two years on a transitional license and Gersten, also transitional, taught at the Middle School for a short period a year or so ago. Most Cheatham County parents don’t know about Teach for America. They believed Hopper and Gersten were two of the many dedicated teachers in our school system. Now, we learn Hopper and Gersten have been teaching here with a goal to open Cumberland Academy, which will be, according to the Charter Board, the first model for rural charters across the entire country

Neither Gersten, nor Hopper, were licensed teachers in Tennessee. In fact, the lead guy, Jimmy Hopper, worked in DC Politics for one of the major parties before coming to the Cheatham County classroom and these two young men are slated to be the operators of this new school. Neither of them have a professional administrator’s license, yet Hopper will assume the role similar to an Executive Director, and Gersten….Well HE’S the “Director of CULTURE,” whatever the heck THAT dubious job description means.

Cheatham County has an ever-shrinking tax base and limited financial resources. This school is targeting students from the Ashland City and East Cheatham Elementary schools. Our county is wide and separated by the Cumberland River. The likelihood of students traveling to Ashland City from Pegram, Kingston Springs or Pleasant View to attend this school is slim. Therefore, logic would dictate that those students will be pulled from ONE middle school.

The Charter school will begin with 90 5th graders and add a higher grade each year. Now, that doesn’t sound like much. However, when you consider our average total class sizes range from 130-150 students, it’s HUGE! That’s over 50% of ONE class! Add another grade each year and they will decimate student enrollment at our middle school and severely limit our budget. We may have to lay off more teachers…we may have to combine classes…we may have to eliminate classes. Our local leaders may have to look to raise property taxes on struggling homeowners and landowners to make up for the loss. Parents and citizens need to understand what it means to allow a Charter School operation in a local community, especially one classified as rural, because contrary to self serving propaganda, this is NOT about school choice. It’s about MONEY.

In the neighboring City of Nashville, all available new revenue for Metro-Nashville Public Schools is going to charter schools, which currently serve only 5% of their students. The average annual growth in cash outlays for charter schools has exceeded 50% since 2008, versus only 4% for the rest of the district. Memphis is $157 million in debt, but must continue to pony up charter school funds. In 2003, the charter school budget was $1.9 million. Now it’s $82.9 million and even that’s up from $57.8 million last year. That’s over a $20 million increase in ONE YEAR! EIGHTY MILLION in just 10 years!

The Charter committee said they will target Cheatham County’s low income families, and homeschoolers, and are preparing a mass mail out with those families they have identified as prospects. The proposed operation site is in a local shopping center in between the Tractor Supply and the Food Lion grocery store. Where is the play ground for the kids? The parking lot? They have no plans to have a kitchen or onsite cafeteria services, but will find a contractor to give the kids some kind of food.

When asked by the committee why they haven’t provided a commitment letter for annual funding, Board member and venture capitalist Landon Gibbs replied, “none of these people want us to use their names.” Well, I find that to be a bit disconcerting. Who’s hiding what here?

The Charter Board members touted their recruitment to the committee stating they have had approximately 50 supportive parents at their public meetings. Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ann Thomson followed up with, “How many of those 50 parents are (in your designated) low income target area?” The “I don’t know” response was stifling. Board of Education Instruction Supervisor, Stacey Brinkley asked the Charter Board their procedure for hiring highly qualified teachers. Brain Gilmore advised the board that they plan to use many avenues but intend to focus on TFA Alum to fill their classrooms.

Cheatham County’s Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Tara Watson asked the members why a “public charter?” With the name dropping of the Walton Foundation and all the infinite resources they seem to have available, “Why not open a private school?” she asked. TFA’s Gersten replied, “Our funders are very excited about The Cumberland Academy… They are not excited about funding another private school.” My question is, why not? If they truly believe they are innovators of education, then they need to put their money where their mouth is and fund this “public” school without our tax dollars. There is no law prohibiting a privately funded school from being open to the public. Colleges and Universities do it all the time.

As much information as I’ve written, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of this proposal. I believe this Charter school will cost us far more than it will contribute. Charter schools, whether labeled “public” or “private” are entities managed by private corporations that operate outside the purview of the law and outside the spirit in which they were originally designed and Cheatham County simply can’t afford another liability.

The Cheatham County School Board will be voting on the application to open The Cumberland Academy, June 24th, 2014. The meeting begins at 6:00 pm at the Annex Building in Ashland City. A public forum will be opened before they take up the application. Considering TFA people intend to use Cumberland Academy as their testing ground for a national model for rural charters, I strongly encourage every person possible to be at this meeting, because a TFA rural Charter just might be coming to your back yard next.

Space is VERY limited, so plan to arrive early if you want a seat.

Tracy A. O’Neill
Ashland City, TN
Cheatham County

Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, one of our nation’s pre-eminent experts on value-added assessment, here reviews a TED-X talk by Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman, boasting of the tremendous growth in test scores as a result of his policies. Beardsley points out the curious fact that Tennessee started using VAM in the 1990s with little to show for it. But, there were those Tennessee NAEP scores, proof positive, according to both Huffman and Se rotary of Education Arne Duncan that Race to the Top–or Huffman’s personal presence–was creating strong results. Nd in the end, results (test scores) are what matter most, right?

But what about those NAEP results that Huffman and Duncan tout?

Beardsley writes:

“While [William] Sanders (the TVAAS developer who first convinced the state legislature to adopt his model for high-stakes accountability purposes in the 1990s) and others (including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan) also claimed that Tennessee’s use of accountability instruments caused Tennessee’s NAEP gains (besides the fact that the purported gains were over two decades delayed), others have since spoiled the celebration because 1) the results also demonstrated an expanding achievement gap in Tennessee; 2) the state’s lowest socioeconomic students continue to perform poorly, despite Huffman’s claims; 3) Tennessee didn’t make gains significantly different than many other states; and 4) other states with similar accountability instruments and policies (e.g., Colorado, Louisiana) did not make similar gains, while states without such instruments and policies (e.g., Kentucky, Iowa, Washington) did. I should add that Kentucky’s achievement gap is also narrowing and their lowest socioeconomic students have made significant gains. This is important to note as Huffman repeatedly compares his state to theirs.”

Read the post. It is a very good demonstration of how data get used and misused for political purposes.

From a parent in East Nashville:

“Oh, yes, I know all too well about TFA buying, I mean winnng, seats on BOEs. I live in Nashville, TN, where a seat on our local board in my district was “won” by Elissa Kim in 2012. She took her seat from the former board chair and long-time dedicated community member, Gracie Porter. From the City Paper: “With her $81,414 fundraising mark, Kim outpaced Porter, the board chair, in the District 5 race by margin of more than 4 to 1.” Elissa Kim “shattered previous fundraising records for school board races in Nashville”. “30 percent of her dollars from individuals who don’t live in Tennessee, including a handful employed at high-profile private equity firms.”

“My district (where Kim won) in located in East Nashville, an urban neighborhood. Not long after she won, Elissa Kim moved to the suburbs.

“If I, as the parent of an elementary student in the public school system here in Davidson County, ever need any support or have a question, I always go to a board member from another district. I don’t trust her.

“Here is the link to an article explaining more about the 2012 election in Nashville: http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/metro-school-board-becomes-arena-political-class-biz-execs”

Today I came across a letter from a Tennessee parent that went viral. The theme, quite simply, is: Parents know best.

In it, this parent explains why she is opting her child out of state testing. Please click on the link so that Alicia Maynard and other Tennessee parents know you support them in their determination to end the testing madness.

****************************************************

“Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better?” – Jane Nelsen, author of the Positive Discipline Series

“Dear Gov. Haslam,

“I am writing to let you know that my fourth-grader will not be taking the TCAP test. This is unfortunate for her school because she scores in the advanced range every time.

“Auria is in fourth grade at Northfield elementary in Murfreesboro, TN. This is our fourth year at this school, and between her and her sister, I have fallen in love with numerous teachers there. Murfreesboro has the best school system in the state (according to Google), and I have been highly impressed with the people and their level of care for my children.

“Third grade changed, though. My highly-intelligent, confident kid became a wreck – early in the year – over the pressure associated with the TCAP. I was confused, as I took the TCAP every year as a child and have nothing but fond memories of bubbling in the little circles. I started to notice the growing intensity leading up to the test, and I became a little disgusted. That was last year. This year it was worse. The teachers I have had the pleasure of working with are so wound up that I feel sorry for them. The teachers, the staff, the administration…everybody.

“These are obviously brilliant and creative people, and this test has taken over like a life-sucking monster. Teaching isn’t an exact science, just like parenting. Every child is different, and this terrible system is stifling all the joy and creativity that is required to really make an impact.

“Now, if I love this school and staff so much, and I know her test scores would attribute to an average boost ($$$), why would I pull her from this? She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. These teachers are already being grossly underpaid for such an important role.

“Pearson is America’s largest corporate maker of standardized testing. It has a multiyear contract with our Department of Education: For creating and implementing the TCAP and the end-of-course tests for high schoolers, we pay more than $150 million. (That’s three times what it would have cost to give Tennessee teachers a 2 percent raise.) The deepest cut of all? Teachers aren’t able to preview the test. They are neither editor nor author of the single most influential test of the whole year. It’s the educational equivalent of a slap in the face.”

- David Cook (Times Free Press)

“Auria can already make better decisions than this.

“My child’s job is to learn. The teacher’s job is to teach. But my role as her parent is more complicated. I also have to teach her when standing up for something is necessary. This system is stupid and unfair. She will be accepting a 0 as 15% of her grade for the year. But she will also be standing up for teachers and students all over the state. She will be taking steps toward bettering her future right now, and I think that’s better than just a memory of all those bubbles.

“Thank you for your time reviewing this matter,

Alicia Maynard
Murfreesboro, TN”

The above letter has been shared on Facebook over 1,140 times in the past 48 hours. Here are some of the many comments on it:

“Amen!

“As a teacher in metro, I love you!

“Wow! Seems I’m not alone about my TCAP feelings! Kuddos to this mom!!!

“The pressure for students, teachers, and parents is so unfair. It makes me so sad.

“This is so beautiful. It’s a must read for all parents and students.

“Maybe more parents should jump on this bandwagon!!! I would love to shake her hand and meet her in person!

“Incredible parent and letter! Hope someone listens! Something to think about where we are heading for the future of education for the little ones. Lets put Common Sense back in Education and worry bout the little ones not which pocket is getting thicker!!!!

“How many letters like this will it take to change things?

“Simply the truth. I am forbidden by law from seeing, asking or being told what is on the test my kids take. Ever. We never see the old tests. We cannot challenge bad questions…and trust me, the practice tests have bad questions. Parents can also never see the tests. Just try and ask, even after it is given. I have yet to have a teacher’s edition grammar book that did not have a wrong answer or horribly confusing practices. It happens, but now who is double checking? My kids will do well…they always do me proud in a pinch, but this is beyond ridiculous. Pearson controls education in Tennessee. Get over the outrage over the feds/Common Core (for now) and ask why in the Hell a private company gets to determine kids’ grades and teachers’ fates with ZERO oversight.

“May do this next year. Zac is flipped out about TCAP.

“This sums up my feelings on standardized testing word for word!!!!!!!

“I love how you just stand up for things that are unjust without ANY hesitation and I respect the heck out of that! TCAP tests and the like are the reasons why I did not complete my certification as a secondary educator. It’s an unfair system that pigeon-holes children into measurable data. You, Alicia Maynard, are a beautiful soul and a wonderful mother. Thank you for standing up for teachers and for teaching your children to stand up for their generation of learners.

“I applaud this mother and think it would be awesome to boycott this stupid standardized testing

“There are many, many more comments just like these above. Parents are fed up, waking up, and speaking out.”

In a stunning reversal,the Tennessee Legislature overwhelmingly repealed a law to evaluate teachers by test scores, and the law was swiftly signed by Governor Haslam. On a day when Arne Duncan withdrew Washington State’s failure to enact test-based teacher valuation system, this is a remarkable turn of events.

Joey Garrison of The Tennessean reports:

“Gov. Bill Haslam has signed into law a bill that will prevent student growth on tests from being used to revoke or not renew a teacher’s license — undoing a controversial education policy his administration had advanced just last summer.

“The governor’s signature, which came Tuesday, follows the Tennessee General Assembly’s overwhelming approval this month of House Bill 1375 / Senate Bill 2240, sponsored by Republicans Rep. John Forgety and Sen. Jim Tracy, which cleared the House by a unanimous 88-0 vote and the Senate by a 26-6 vote.

“That marked a major repudiation of a policy the Tennessee Board of Education in August adopted — at Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman’s recommendation — that would have linked license renewal and advancement to a teacher’s composite evaluation score as well as data collected from the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, which measures the learning gains of students.

“The bill to reject the policy had been pushed chiefly by the Tennessee Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ organization, which engineered a petition drive to encourage Haslam to sign the legislation despite it passing with large bipartisan support.

“Huge, huge win for teachers,” the TEA wrote on its Twitter page, thanking both bill sponsors as well as Haslam for “treating teachers as professionals.”

“Eyeing a 2015 implementation, the state board in January had agreed to back down from using student learning gains as the sole and overriding reason to revoke a license. Composite evaluation scores, in which 35 percent is influenced by value-added data, were to centerpiece.”

********************
Two interesting points here: one, Duncan has been hailing Tennessee as a demonstration of the “success” of Race to the Top, in which test-based evaluation of teachers is key. What happens now?

Second, state Commissioner Kevin Huffman is so unpopular that anything he supports is likely to be rejected. His enemies hope he doesn’t leave Tennessee because whatever he recommends generates opposition, even among his allies.

Ravi Gupta is an ambitious young man who has boldly entered the booming world of charter entrepreneurship.

He may even be planning his own charter chain.

He opened one in Nashville, one of those “no excuses” charters designed especially for kids of color, with long school days and tough discipline.

And now he plans to open another in Jackson, Mississippi. In this interview, he compares the education reform debate to the “Game of Thrones.”

Apparently some folks from Mississippi think it is funny that he talks about defining “who WE are as a state and where WE want to go.”

Ravi is from Staten Island, New York.

In Nashville, Gupta has gotten into heated exchanges with two elected school board members. He blasted one on Facebook, where he claimed the school board member was in a “drunk rage” when he wrote a sharp exchange with Gupta.

In another instance, he rudely criticized board member Amy Frogge for raising the issue of attrition at charter schools; Gupta said she was out of bounds criticizing his school because she had not visited it. Gupta accused her of acting like a “birther,” making completely unsubstantiated charges.

Gupta’s angry blasts at the school board members occurred shortly after the board unanimously granted him permission to open a second charter school in Nashville.

Gupta is only 29, and has known great success in his adult life. He seems to have a short fuse.

His school should offer courses in anger management.

Rocketship Charters are planning to open in Nashville and Memphis, but there have been a few problems along the way.

Lisa Fingeroot of the Nashville Ledger writes that the for-profit corporation,which relies on computers to cut costs, has experienced a dramatic decline in its test scores in the past few years. Once hailed as the “next big thing” because of its high scores, that reputation has melted away, as this article shows.

 

Fingeroot writes:

 

Rocketship opened its first elementary school in California in 2008 and earned a national reputation for success with a “blended” learning model in which students spend a part of the day learning online while supervised by an aide instead of a certified teacher. The rest of the students’ day takes place in a traditional classroom.
The online learning program allows a 50-to-one student-teacher ratio, has come under fire from educators and has contributed to a drop in test scores for Rocketship students, documents show.
Even though California-based Rocketship will abandon the online program, Kristoffer Haines, senior vice president of growth and development, is accusing critics of distorting company goals by wrongly claiming the online program was designed simply to cut costs so more money could be syphoned from each individual school and used to fuel company expansion into more states.
Rocketship’s learning model has found support among many of the nation’s education reform spokesmen, including former Florida Gov. and potential Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who promote the use of computers as a method to individualize student instruction.
But Rocketship took a public relations hit earlier this year when the California Department of Education released test scores showing a steady decline in student test scores between the 2008-09 and 2012-13 school years. During that period, the company grew from one to seven schools and also implemented the higher student-teacher ratio pilot.
The test scores, calculated at the request of Education Week, a national trade magazine for educators, show a correlation between growth of the company and incremental drops in test scores.
But Rocketship officials downplay the scores and blame the drop on the online pilot program, which they say will be nixed before the Nashville school opens for the 2014-15 school year.

 

The company spokesmen boast of “phenomenal results,” but “the results calculated by California officials for Education Week show the percentage of Rocketship students who scored proficient or better in English/language arts dropped by 30 percentage points in five years, and the number scoring that well in math dropped by more than 14 percentage points.”

 

In another article, Fingeroot disclosed that Rocketship had been siphoning funds from charters in one state to finance the opening of new charters in other states.

 

She writes:

 

A national charter school group tapped to open schools in both Nashville and Memphis is dumping plans to syphon money from its schools here and in California to finance expansion into other states, a company official says.

The plan by Rocketship Education to use tax dollars collected in one state to finance the opening of schools in another state has elected officials and charter school observers questioning whether the move is legal.

But that plan has been scrapped and will be replaced in May with a similar business model that shows money will not be moved from state to state, says Kristoffer Haines, senior vice president of growth and development.

Revenues generated at a Nashville school, however, could be used to help jumpstart another Rocketship school in Nashville, he adds.

Even that kind of money movement isn’t winning points from Metro Nashville school board member Will Pinkston, a vocal opponent of unrestricted charter school growth.

“Any charter operator needs to be keeping those dollars in the school and not using them to fund growth inside or outside the community,” Pinkston says.

The Metro school board has approved one Rocketship charter school, but the company has plans to ask for at least one more in Nashville.

Rocketship does not need local approval, though, because it has state approval to take over failing schools in both Nashville and Memphis through the Achievement School District established to improve Tennessee schools performing in the bottom five percent of all schools.

The Rocketship plan to fuel growth through local schools called for cutting staff to save money, and taking an additional $200,000 per year from each of the company’s existing schools to use as seed money.

“It’s called ‘cross subsidization,’ and whether it is legal or not is very questionable,” says Gary Miron, an education professor at Western Michigan University whose research includes the monitoring of more than 300 charter schools around the United States.

“Why would taxpayers in Tennessee want to pay for schools in another state,” he asks.

The plan was first found on the company’s website, but was removed when it became ammunition in a California neighborhood fight over whether Rocketship would be allowed to open a second school in the community.

Haines accuses critics of distorting the information and called the plan “outdated” because much of it was based on an old 2010 plan that was meant only for California schools and only to fund additional California schools, he explains.

In yet a third article, Fingeroot shows how “nonprofit” charter chains are very profitable through real estate transactions and high salaries.

She writes:

 

 

Even though a plan to allow for-profit charter school management companies in Tennessee is dead for the current legislative session, the “Educational Industrial Complex” is still cranking out profits, says the professor who coined the phrase.

 

“There’s not much difference in profit and nonprofits,” says Gary Miron, an education professor at Western Michigan University and a member of the National Education Policy Center in Colorado who studies and monitors charter schools.
“At the end of the year they can clear profits by putting it into salaries and bonuses for executives,’’ he explains.

 

Funds also can be moved or paid into a web of for-profit sister companies that have contracts with the nonprofit charter school.
“It’s really a scam,” Miron says of the many different scenarios that can be used. “To really follow the money, you would have to really understand the facilities companies.”
Miron is particularly wary of the real estate deals like those currently being seen in Nashville and Memphis.

 

In Nashville, the new Rocketship Education school building on Dickerson Pike is being built by a hedge fund company owned by tennis star Andre Agassi. Investors in the company provide financing for construction, and the company acts as a mortgage holder.

 

Each Rocketship school pays between 12 and 20 percent of its budget to the main Rocketship company for a facilities fee. The money is then used for the mortgage payment, says Kristoffer Haines, senior vice president of growth and development.

 

For the company’s California schools, the fee is about 18 percent. He anticipates a facilities fee in the high teens for the new Nashville school.

 

In the end, Rocketship will own the building and “the taxpayer’s interest is not protected,” Miron says. If the charter school closes, the building is still owned by the company, even though it was paid for with tax dollars via facilities fees.

 

“We’re seeing more and more of this,” Miron adds.

 

Nationally, the charter school failure rate is estimated to be about 15 percent.

 

For investing in a school project, investors are given tax credits as high as 39 percent, which allows them to double their money within seven years, says Metro Nashville school board member Amy Frogge, an active opponent of for-profit charter schools.

 

It’s an attractive enticement for hedge fund managers, who have begun flocking to Memphis charter schools to get their share, she adds.

 

The question is whether taxpayers expect their tax money to reduce class size and pay for art teachers, social workers, school nurses, and other kinds of direct school enrichment, or whether they know they are enriching hedge fund managers, investors, and executives of charter chains.

 

 

 

 

 

Audrey Amrein Beardsley has been studying William Sanders’ value-added assessment system for a decade or so, and she is no fan of his methodology.

Here she explains why.

William Sanders has argued that his methodology is not volatile, but Beardsley and other critics say otherwise.

TVAAS or EVAAS is highly controversial, yet Arne Duncan praised it and claimed that Tennessee made great strides because it uses Sanders’ methods.

Beardsley makes the following observations (she has many more links, and I can’t copy them all, so I urge you to read her article and follow the links to understand the evidence she cites):

 

Sanders and others (including state leaders and even U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan) have lauded Tennessee’s use of accountability instruments, like the TVAAS, for Tennessee’s large gains on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) outcomes. Others, however, have cautioned against this celebration because 1) the results mask the expanding achievement gap in Tennessee; 2) the state’s lowest socioeconomic students continue to perform poorly on the test; 3) Tennessee didn’t make gains significantly different than many other states; and 4) other states with similar accountability instruments and policies (e.g., Colorado, Louisiana) did not make similar gains, while states without such instruments and policies (e.g., Kentucky, Iowa, Washington) did make similar gains (I should add that Kentucky’s achievement gap is also narrowing and their lowest socioeconomic students have made significant gains). Claiming that NAEP scores increased because of TVAAS-use and other stringent accountability policies is completely unwarranted (see also this article in Education Week).

 

This is an unintentionally hilarious
story about Common Core
in Tennessee. Dr. Candace McQueen
has been dean of Lipscomb College’s school of education and also
the state’s’s chief cheerleader for Common Core. However, she was
named headmistress of private Lipscomb Academy, and guess what? She
will not have the school adopt the Common Core! Go figure.

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