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A Vulture Descends on DOE

From Tennessee Education Report: Fortunately, we have a preview of what education policy could look like if (Trump Secretary of Education nominee Betsy)DeVos has her way. Unfortunately, that outlook is pretty grim. In June, I wrote about Detroit’s experiment with school choice — an experiment designed and supported by DeVos. Essentially, the system DeVos champions […]

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DFER Statement on Trump

Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is out with a statement on the Trump Administration and the possibility that a Democrat may be named Secretary of Education. From the statement: “The policies and rhetoric of President-elect Trump run contrary to the most fundamental values of what it means to be a progressive committed to educating our […]

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Taking on Dark Money

Tennessee Citizen Action is fighting back against outside special interest groups and their use of dark money to influence Tennessee campaigns: We think a more appropriate warning is this: Beware of outside special interest groups spending on your campaign. Candidates and campaigns should be on notice that if they play with dark money groups, we’ll be […]

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It’s all about making it easier to register to vote: HB1724/SB1631 sponsored by Rep. Darren Jernigan of Nashville and Senator Reginald Tate of Memphis. This legislation would automatically register an individual to vote when they apply for a driver’s license. It’s automatic voter registration! READ MORE For more on Tennessee politics and policy, follow @TheAndySpears

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Strong Schools Fights for Better Schools … and Wins!

  The Huffington Post today has a story about Sumner County grassroots advocacy group Strong Schools and their recent electoral success. From the story: Coordinating our efforts, we created a Facebook event to alert the community that an important County Commission meeting was coming up and it was time to respond to years of underfunding of […]

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Strong Schools Candidates Sweep Sumner

County Commission candidates backed by the Political Action Committee of local grassroots group Strong Schools claimed victory in every election they contested last night in Sumner County. Here’s the story from the Gallatin News. And here’s the take from the Hendersonville Star-News The organization scored 13 wins and helped defeat incumbents in districts 4, 7, […]

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Ed Reform Without Social Justice is Dead

Or, that could be the headline of this outstanding article over at Edushyster. In it, TFA alum and San Jose Teachers Association Board Member Ben Spielberg argues that if you argue for education reform but don’t also push for social justice, you’re not being very consistent. Here’s what he has to say: But if you’re […]

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Spears Comments on 2014 Sumner Elections

The Hendersonville Star News cited comments from Andy Spears, Director of local parent-led organization Strong Schools, in its story on the 2014 local elections. From the article: Spears believes overcrowding in schools, improved technology and facilities, as well as competitive teacher pay, will be among the issues at the forefront of this election season. “(Voters) […]

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2013 Tennessee Education Legislation Preview

I wrote a column for Tennessee Education Report about the 2013 legislative session and key education legislation.  Essentially, the column gives an overview of legislation on vouchers (which Governor Haslam promised in his State of the State last night), a state Charter School authorizer, and Parent Trigger.  Read more here.

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Can All of Tennessee be an Achievement School District?

So, Tennessee’s Achievement School District recently unveiled a new pay scale for its teachers. After 6 years in ASD, a teacher can earn $62,000 — with bonuses, possibly more. As a point of reference, the ASD takes schools in the bottom 5% of the state in terms of student performance — persistently low-performing schools — and […]

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