TREND Winter 2017/2018 - Page 17

2018 Gubernatorial Race MAE Beavers Thank you for taking the time to share with our educators today. On behalf of our members, I would like to say we are grateful you are offering yourself for Governor. Please share with educators a little about who you are, and why you are running for Governor. I am Mae Beavers, candidate for Governor.  I am a wife, a mother and a grandmother to five.  I am a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University.  I served on the Wilson County Commission, and in the State House and the State Senate.  I just resigned from the Senate after 15 years in order to run for Governor because of the problems I saw that needed to be solved. We made quite a few changes in public education in Tennessee the last decade - some necessary, some debatable. What are we doing right? There have been efforts made over the last few years to reform education.  I have heard from parents and teachers about the reforms and the negative impact it is having on our teachers and our students.  We are losing great teachers who want to use their talent to teach but because they are having to teach to a test cannot enjoy teaching as they once did.  Standardized testing, which is costing $110 million a year, has had many problems over the last few years.  I believe it should be left to the local school district to determine what test they want to use, standardized or the ACT or SAT we have used for so many years. (B) Our teachers should not have to teach to a test but should be able to use the talent they have to teach our children.   (C) We need more transparency in education, whether it be the mandated testing or the Basic Education Program. (D) We need more technical schools since not every child is interested in going to college.  We need to restore technical classes to our high schools and provide the student with a certificate in certain areas so they can get a good paying job out of high school if that is what they want to do.  This would help train the employees we need to recruit jobs to Tennessee. (E) We need to undo bad decisions rather than trying to fix those bad decisions. (F)   We need to provide adequate security and protection for our teachers in classroom settings and back them up when they are confronted with angry, unruly and potentially violent students What are the steps that the state and local districts need to take to address the challenges you identified? What impact will that have on classroom teachers? State and local government need to make the changes necessary to make our education system work and make sure our children get a great education.  The more local control the better since counties from Mountain City to Memphis are so different.  In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges still facing education in Tennessee? Any final thoughts you’d like to share with our educators? (A) We need to teach children to read by the 3rd grade before they go on to the next grade.  We need to teach phonetic based reading again.  We also need full immersion in the English language before a child is put in a classroom. We need to try to do whatever we can to retain our talented teachers whose only desire is to teach our children.