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TNDP Launches Online Petition Against Governor’s Class-Size Expansion Effort

Press Release from the Democratic Party of Tennessee, Feb. 8, 2012:

View the Petition: http://tndp.org/blog/take-action/tell-governor-haslam-class-size-matters/

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Democratic Party launched Wednesday an online petition drive opposing Governor Bill Haslam’s proposal to eliminate average class size requirements at public schools. Chairman Chip Forrester released this statement to accompany the petition:

“Parents and teachers know first hand what difference small class sizes make in improving student learning. It’s common sense; the fewer students in a classroom, the more time a teacher can spend with each individual student.

“If our goal is to improve student learning, Governor Haslam’s plan to increase class sizes is the wrong way to go. It’s a bad idea that shortchanges our kids’ future.

“We can’t afford to settle for anything but the best in Tennessee’s classrooms because the countries our kids will be competing with for the jobs of the 21st century — China, Japan, India — aren’t settling either.

“In tough economic times, education is an easy target for cuts, but nothing could be more short-sighted. When parents are stressed at home because they’ve lost a job, children need more strong, effective teachers, not less. When jobs are scarce, there’s no better time for young people to get that degree or for workers who’ve been laid off to go back and re-train.

“It’s time to recommit to our kids, our workers, and our future by making sure Tennessee has the best educated children in the nation.”

The Tennessee Democratic Party will deliver the petition and comments to the governor’s office in the coming days.

Online at: http://tndp.org/blog/take-action/tell-governor-haslam-class-size-matters/

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BACKGROUND

Tennessee’s Teacher Quality in Tennessee Among Best in Nation. The Memphis Business Journal reports that Tennessee teachers earned one of the highest overall grades in the nation on the National Council on Teacher Quality’s 2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook. Tennessee earned a B- and was one of only four states to receive a B grade. [Memphis Business Journal, 1/27/12]

News Coverage of the Haslam’s Class Size Plan

Educators balk at Haslam class size proposal

www.tennessean.com

Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to lift a cap on class size averages is meeting resistance from educators, but the Republican calls the proposal a key element to his effort to allow school districts to hike teacher salaries.

Guest column: Haslam’s bad idea — larger class sizes

www.commercialappeal.com

It’s your daughter’s first day of kindergarten. She’s excited, but also scared to be leaving Mom and Dad. You tell her it will be all right, that her teacher will take care of her and that she’ll make lots of new friends.

Johnson City Board of Education passes resolution opposing part of Haslam’s plan

www2.tricities.com

The Johnson City Board of Education is making its opposition to part of Governor Bill Haslam’s education reform plan be heard loud and clear.

Reporter’s Notebook: School class size plan gets failing grade

www.timesfreepress.com

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to relax state mandates on local schools’ classroom size isn’t getting a passing grade from many of the people who run them — school superintendents and directors.

Some teachers opposing Haslam’s new education plan

http://crossville-chronicle.com

Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to allow local Tennessee school districts to determine class sizes is drawing strong opposition from teachers who say it will adversely affect students’ ability to learn and graduate.

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