Evidently vouchers are good for some places but not others in Tennessee. Read the latest proposal! No matter how vouchers are justified, they wreck havoc on communities and do not improve academic achievement.
by Anne-Marie Farmer
in the Voter from Nashville League of Women Voters
In response to the Nashville school board’s denial of the Great Hearts Academies charter application, the Tennessee legislature passed the state charter authorizer law, which gave the State Board of Education (SBOE) the power to authorize and oversee a potential charter school whose application was rejected by the local school board. Last year, the SBOE used this authority for the first time, overriding a decision by local officials in Nashville to deny the application for an additional KIPP charter school. That means that, while the funding for the additional KIPP school will come primarily from local funds, the school will not be under the supervision and authority of the local school district, but instead be accountable only to the SBOE. Another charter appeal, currently pending before the SBOE, will test whether the SBOE intends to expand its role in opening charter schools over the objection of the local school district. This is an important test.
Many states are struggling with a fundamental choice in improving at risk schools. Do you help communities to band together to bring resources and talent to struggling schools or does the state take over these schools and ‘fix’ them by turning them over to charter management companies?
by Anne-Marie Farmer”
Anne Marie says: “It really does matter when you stay informed and speak up!”
Which states get it right? Not Florida. It was one of eight states that received an overall grade of ‘F’ when its grades were averaged across the categories studied. The Network for Public Education rated states based on six criteria.
For each category, I combined the percentages of A, B and C grades received across states. I was surprised at the results. Relatively few states (11) use test scores to punish students and teachers, but Florida is one of those that do. You can see the combined percentages (think of them as passing scores) at the end of each of the criteria.
by Anne-Marie Farmer
Receiving this post from Anne-Marie is pure serendipity. I spent several hours looking for examples of how states determine how much funding is needed to provide a high quality education for all students. High quality education is mandated in Florida’s constitution. What does it mean? How is it funded? When is enough, enough? The State is in a lawsuit about this.
Then, this post arrived from Tennessee.
Tennessee appears to have approached funding for education differently than Florida. Our state seems to decide how much it is going to spend and then divides the money among districts using a per student funding formula. Tennessee uses a complicated system of 45 components to determine what education should cost. Afterwards, they do a budget. Sometimes what should be and what is do not match.
by Anne Marie Farmer, Nashville League of Women Voters
If you follow public education in Nashville, you’ve probably heard mention of the Achievement School District, or ASD. But, many people are unsure what the ASD is and how it impacts Nashville. This article is a quick primer on the ASD, its performance, and its footprint in our town.
Community Achieves is making a difference in Nashville’s public schools. How are they doing it? Anne-Marie Farmer explains how their communities are helping students and their families.
The cost is small; the impact is large.Continue reading
The main voucher bill HB 1039 in Tennessee died yesterday. This bill was similar to the Opportunity Scholarships that was declared unconstitutional in Florida. Tennessee’s version would give vouchers to students who qualified for free and reduced lunch and were enrolled in a school with achievement scores in the bottom 5 percent. A second bill, HB 138 survived. It would provide vouchers for students with special needs who have IEPs. While HB 138 has not become law, it was voted out of committee and is proceeding through the legislative process. Anne-Marie Farmer’s post in this blog describes the bills.
Which way will Tennessee’s legislature go? There are two bills moving through the legislature. One bill would make any child with an IEP eligible for a voucher. There is no accountability required. The second bill is geared toward students in struggling schools.
In this post, Anne Marie Farmer explains the impact of the bills. This is serious for Tennessee’s public schools. It could be sad for their children.