This past September, Governor Bill Haslam hosted an “Education Summit” designed to help “reset the conversation” around education policy, and specifically, Common Core. Since that time, policymakers have been suggesting that Common Core is dead in Tennessee and that the state will move toward its own set of standards.
Governor Haslam took a major step in that direction, announcing a review of Tennessee standards in Math and English/Language Arts. He is accelerating the normal review process for Tennessee standards and using that acceleration as an opportunity to review (and potentially revise) the Common Core standards that guide Tennessee’s standards. Haslam also announced the development of a website to allow Tennesseans to review the Common Core State Standards and offer comments. Review committees comprised of educators will be a part of the process.
The release from Haslam’s office:
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced the process for a public review of the state’s K-12 academic standards in English language arts and math. The process, in partnership with the State Board of Education, will include input from educators and citizens from across the state. Academic standards are typically reviewed in Tennessee every six years. With these standards now in their fourth year, and with the discussion happening in Tennessee and across the country about Common Core state standards, Haslam believes this is the appropriate time to take a fresh look.
“One thing we’ve all agreed on is the importance of high standards in Tennessee,” Haslam continued. “This discussion is about making sure we have the best possible standards as we continue to push ahead on the historic progress we’re making in academic achievement.”
In the coming weeks, a websitewill be available to every Tennessean review each current state standard and comment on what that person likes, doesn’t like, or suggest changes about that particular standard.
The Southern Regional Education Board, as a third party, independent resource, will collect the data in the Spring and turn that information over to be reviewed and analyzed by professional Tennessee educators. The governor has asked the State Board of Education to appoint two committees, an English Language Arts Standards Review & Development Committee and Math Standards Review & Development Committee, as well as three advisory teams for each of those committees. The advisory teams will review Tennessee’s current standards and gather input to make recommendations to the two committees, which will then propose possible changes to the State Board of Education.
The two standards review committees will each be made up of six Tennessee K-12 educators and two representatives from Tennessee higher education institutions for a total of 16 Tennessee professional educators. The two committees will receive input from three advisory teams each, for a total of six. The advisory teams will be grouped by K-5th grade, 6th – 8th grade and 9th – 12th grade, and each team will be made up of six Tennessee K-12 educators and one representative from a Tennessee higher education institution for a total of 42 Tennessee professional educators.