Education advocacy group ranks Sargent A+, and A for Johnson, Casada and Whitson


Education advocacy group ranks Sargent A+, and A for Johnson, Casada and Whitson

Reps. William Lamberth and Courtney Rogers, and Sen. Ferrell Haile were each graded A for their positions on education legislation by a group called Tennesseans for Student Success.

According to its Web site, the nonprofit, statewide advocacy group is in favor of higher standards in education, rigorous testing and accountability for teachers and students, and public school choice.

The ranking praised delegation members for their floor votes on the 2017-18 school budget bill that included a $180 million increase for teacher salaries, district-led school improvement plans, and $22 million to support English Language Learners, as well as the High-Quality Charter Schools Act to include oversight by and cooperation with school districts, and a transparent accountability system. They also supported goals and processes for turning around low-performing schools, the phasing in of TNReady test data into grading and teacher assessment, and expanding high school track offerings in support of Tennessee’s Drive to 55 effort to expand the number of residents with college degrees or certifications.

Four representatives and three senators who sponsored, or did committee work on the key bills received A+ grades.

Two senators received F grades: Sen. Mark Green of Ashland City, and Sen. Thelma Harper of Nashville.

Green released this statement in response to the rating:

“If fighting against Common Core and more government control of education gets you an F on a liberal scorecard, then I’m proud of that F. I will always put students first and champion the rights of parents and teachers–not special interests in Washington or Nashville. My record on education is clear–and includes recognition as a Friend of Education from the Professional Educators of Tennessee for championing of the Teacher Bill of Rights.”

No House members were rated F.

“Evaluating legislators in an open and honest manner is important,” Tennesseans for Student Success Board Chairman Austin McMullen said in a press release announcing the group’s scores. “The SuccessCard clearly and concisely informs voters which members of the General Assembly support the policies that have helped Tennessee become the fastest improving state in the nation in education. By supporting rigorous academic standards, an assessment aligned to those standards, accountability for everyone involved in the classroom, and public choices in education, Tennessee’s legislators are sending a clear signal that education is the priority for Tennessee.”

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