Press release from StudentsFirst; March 12, 2012:
Nashville – StudentsFirst launched a statewide media campaign today recognizing the leadership of Tennessee legislators in reforming education and encouraging them to take additional steps to improve public schools in the Volunteer State.The six-figure television buy includes broadcast and cable ads in the state’s major markets. The ad calls on legislators to make it easier for math, science and business professionals to enter the classroom. It also urges them to stop the detrimental policy of forced placement of teachers in schools without the consent of educators and school leaders, and it urges lawmakers to empower parents with real tools to transform chronically failing schools.
“We should all be proud of our state’s leaders for acting boldly to enact key education reforms,” said StudentsFirst state director, Mike Carpenter. “But there is still much more to do to give our children the opportunity to achieve at the highest levels. Tens of thousands of our children are stuck in low-performing schools and they can’t wait. They need the legislature to act now and continue to lead on reform.”
StudentsFirst is calling on lawmakers to support a measure that would streamline the process for allowing experts in fields like math, science or business to teach these subjects without going through burdensome and unnecessary hurdles associated with traditional teacher licensing.
Other legislation would end the policy of forced placement, which forces teachers into vacant positions without the consent of the teacher or the school’s principal. This policy often results in the lowest performing teachers being placed in schools that are already struggling.
StudentsFirst also is urging the legislature to empower parents of kids in the poorest performing schools by allowing them to petition school boards to implement one of four proven turnaround strategies.
A recent statewide poll commissioned by StudentsFirst showed 73 percent of voters continue to support the education reforms passed by the legislature last year, and solid majorities back the kind of changes being advocated for by StudentsFirst.
Formed in December 2010 by former Washington D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, StudentsFirst is a bipartisan grassroots movement of more than 1 million members working to transform America’s schools so they work well for all kids. In its first year alone, StudentsFirst members successfully helped advocate for passage of more than 50 new, student-centered policies in half a dozen states, and our movement continues to grow every day.