The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) has released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson in response to Governor Bill Haslam’s announcement of a review process for Tennessee’s K-12 academic standards in English language arts and mathematics:
Since SCORE was founded in 2009, we have supported high academic standards as one of four research-based approaches to improving academic achievement. Tennessee’s significant academic gains indicate our current English and math standards, which dramatically raised expectations, are working for our students. It is important, though, to look ahead and continue raising the bar in the classroom.
Today Governor Haslam announced a process that invites Tennesseans, particularly teachers, to provide input on the state’s English and math standards. We appreciate the governor’s leadership and willingness to listen to all parties.
SCORE believes that work to review, refine, and raise expectations is foundational to helping Tennessee students continue to make gains in academic achievement. The role SCORE wants to play and will be playing in this process is as an advocate for research-based policy and as a vigilant watchdog for our students and teachers. SCORE’s role is to ensure that this process results in higher standards for our students, not lower standards.
It is our hope that the review process announced today will reinforce consensus about the value of high academic standards. Teachers, parents, and other Tennesseans now have a thoughtful way to identify areas where our standards are working and where we can build on our standards to continue raising the bar for students. We encourage Tennessee educators to participate in this opportunity to provide their crucial insight.
In conversations SCORE has conducted over the last few months, educators have clearly told us two things. First, they need and want more professional development and support in using the standards. Second, teachers, students, and parents urgently need the state to push forward with the selection and implementation of a new assessment fully aligned with our standards.
Numerous indicators – from the Nation’s Report Card to ACT – show Tennessee is moving in the right direction. Going forward, let’s weigh the evidence of what is working and together make sure Tennessee keeps high standards that prepare our students to succeed in college, work, and life.