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Press Releases

McQueen Announces Task Force on Student Testing, Assessment

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Education; March 2, 2015:

NASHVILLE — Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today announced the formation of a special Tennessee Task Force on Student Testing and Assessment to study and identify best practices in testing at the school level and how those assessments align with required state tests.

“We have heard some concerns that there is ‘too much testing’ taking place. So as education leaders and stakeholders, it’s important that we clearly understand current testing policies and practices at both the state and local levels,” McQueen said. “Proper assessment tools are vital in making sure we are supporting our schools, teachers, parents, and students with clear information about what students are learning and mastering. We want to highlight those districts that are finding the right approach and balance on this important topic, and to identify any areas for discussion and improvement.”

The new task force includes a broad spectrum of education leaders, teachers, and stakeholders. The first meeting of the task force will convene in late March, and will focus on the results of a district assessment survey.

“Assessments can be powerful tools in ensuring the work we’re doing in education is effective and that we are gaining a return on our taxpayer investments,” Senate Education Committee Chairman and task force member Dolores Gresham said. “I’m excited to be a part of this important work.”

The task force will issue a report on its findings this summer.

The task force will include the following members:

  • Candice McQueen, Tennessee Commissioner of Education
  • Sara Heyburn, Executive Director, State Board of Education
  • Dolores Gresham, Chairman, Senate Education Committee
  • John Forgety, Chairman, House Education Committee
  • Harry Brooks, Chairman, House Education Committee
  • Mike Winstead, Director of Schools, Maryville City
  • Wanda Shelton, Director of Schools, Lincoln County
  • Mary Reel, Director of Schools, Milan Special Schools
  • Nancy Ashe, Assistant Director of Schools, Lebanon Special Schools
  • Beth Unfried, Director of Elementary Schools, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools
  • Sharon McNary, Principal, Richland Elementary, Shelby County Schools
  • Philip Eller, Teacher, Cedar Grove Elementary, Rutherford County Schools
  • Becky McBride, Teacher, Brighton High, Tipton County School
  • Valerie Love, Teacher, Dobyns-Bennett High, Kingsport City Schools
  • Susan Lodal, President, Tennessee School Boards Association
  • Jasmine Carlisle, 11TH-grade Student, Mt. Juliet High, Wilson County Schools
  • Virginia Babb, Member, Knox County Parent-Teacher Association

Ex officio members

  • Kathleen Airhart, Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Stephen Smith, Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Emily Freitag, Assistant Commissioner, Curriculum and Instruction, Tennessee Department of
  • EducationNakia Towns, Assistant Commissioner, Data and Research, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Eva Boster, Teacher Ambassador, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Alyssa Van Camp, Director of Policy, State Collaborative on Reforming Education
Categories
Press Releases

McQueen Launches Statewide Classroom Tour

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Education; February 13, 2015:

NASHVILLE— Education Commissioner Candice McQueen on Friday kicked off a statewide tour of classroom visits where she plans to connect with 10,000 Tennessee teachers. The commissioner, whose tour began in her hometown of Clarksville, is committed to this goal as a way to listen and learn from Tennessee educators.

Commissioner McQueen visited three schools on Friday, two of which she attended herself growing up: Burt Elementary and Northeast High. She spent time with teachers, students, and administrators, listening to stories of their successes and challenges.

“I believe it is critical to listen to Tennessee teachers and engage them in policy discussions because they will be living it out in their classrooms. They need to be a significant voice in this discussion,” McQueen said. “We have to partner together to continue the momentum of historic gains in Tennessee.”

The commissioner plans to complete her visits by the end of the calendar year. As a former educator and teacher of teachers, McQueen says she never feels far from the classroom.

“In my both my heart and in my head, I will always be a teacher,” McQueen said.

Commissioner McQueen was sworn in to office in January. Previously she served on Lipscomb University’s executive leadership team as senior vice president, and as dean of the College of Education. McQueen, a native of Clarksville, has a bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb, a master’s from Vanderbilt, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas.

The department looks forward to sharing upcoming school visits as they are planned. Please check our blog, Classroom Chronicles, for updates, photos, and videos from the commissioner’s tour: http://tnclassroomchronicles.org/.

For more information, please contact Kelli Gauthier at (615) 532-7817 or Kelli.Gauthier@tn.gov.