Statement from Gov. Phil Bredesen on passage of the “Tennessee First to the Top Act” Jan. 15, 2010:
“This has been a historic week for public education in Tennessee. I offer my sincere thanks to the leadership and members of the General Assembly for their work in passing this legislation, which will benefit the children in our schools and significantly enhance our efforts in the Race to the Top competition. As I said in Tuesday night’s speech, regardless of the outcome of any competition, this is the right thing to do for our children and schools.
“To all our teachers and principals across Tennessee, and to the Tennessee Education Association: you have my personal thank you and gratitude for coming to the table and working with us to achieve this milestone. I’m gratified by your trust in me and want to assure you that it will prove to be justified. As we move forward, we’ll work with educators across the state to ensure that everyone has accurate and reliable student achievement data to support his or her classroom instruction and enable fair and valid evaluations of teacher performance.
“Going forward, we will also need to address the issues of student responsibility and parental accountability, and I am willing to sit down with parents and teachers to do what’s necessary to ensure teachers are treated fairly.
“I encourage the members of the General Assembly to continue this progress next week by adopting the measures I’ve outlined to increase college completion rates in Tennessee and position us for future success in economic and workforce development.”