TREND Winter 2017/2018 - Page 19

2018 Gubernatorial Race In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges still facing education in Tennessee? (i) Improving working conditions and ensuring our educators are in an environment that promotes quality professional development, team collaboration, and inclusive of the input of our educators on an ongoing basis. (ii) Literacy at early childhood sets a critical foundation for educational success. But when it comes to our reading benchmarks, less than half of our third-grade students are where they need to be. Closing this gap will take substantial work at the state and local level, and will take time to achieve. (iii) Career and technical education is a work-in-progress, but I believe it is the key to the economic prosperity of our state. Our next governor has the opportunity to lead a revolutionary period of growth in CTE, and we should be ready to challenge old assumptions and consider innovative opportunities to help children acquire the skills needed for success in life. 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? New challenges will always emerge, but I believe a fundamental operational principle going forward should be to respond and include the input of our educators in our policy. I also believe, fundamentally, that our state education policy should support, not supplant, local school district efforts to improve student achievement for all children, and to meet a vision that fits the needs of the local community and of our state. One need we must respond to is the reality that if our educators are overworked, or lack the preparation and support they need to succeed, we will continue to face a challenge in recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest.  As part of our response, our state and local leaders should engage in a full review of how our current policies impact the working conditions needed for teachers to thrive. One priority for improvement should be how we approach professional development. It starts at our institutions of higher education, but it continues throughout a teacher’s career, particularly as new models and new insights emerge. We should encourage efforts to bring educators together in relevant communities of practice, and seek opportunities to put experienced teachers in a position to lead and develop other teachers, and reward those teachers who help lead. With 65,000 teachers across Tennessee, we have an abundant and underutilized resource of expertise, and I believe that if make the right investments to connect teachers across districts and schools, we can support of a culture of collaboration that helps everyone succeed. Our support for educators will be critical as take on two major challenges facing our state: (i) Literacy, and (ii) Career and technical education. Success on both fronts will take substantial vision and effort from our communities and our state. We know from experience that poor literacy at third grade leads to challenges later on in life, impacting high school graduation rates, poverty, and even increased rates of incarceration. But currently, less than half of Tennessee’s third graders are reading at grade level. The work our teac \X\\[X\H[^\H[][ۈ܂X\Y \Xۙ\K[H[Y]HH]H[\[YY[\[H[X[ۘ[\ܝX\\B[\YX]ܜYY]H[[KYܝZHXYHXYH[[ۜ]HH[Z]Y[HH]H]H[Z[\ۋ]XY]HX\\]\[BHHX[HYܝ]\]HX[H][\ݙY\\\[ܙX]]H\\\˂]H\[وH[8&\\Y\H\[H]B]و L[\YHYܘYX]\۸&]›۝H \Xۙ\H[ۋ[\X[Hو[BܘYX]H[\]Z\Y[[\\Y܈^x&\؂X\] \\[\YH\HX\YKX]\H][[˜HZ[YܚٛܘH\Y[^HYH܈H\ HYX\ˈ8+]YH\[KH[\H]\[[Y[X\\Y]\[PXXX[[][YH]BY[ۙHوH[\]]]H[\Y\[H[\Kx&]HYݙ\YH\[\[[\[XܝZ][[ܛ[HܚٛܘH]YY]HYYو\\Y\˂H\ۙYH[[HH][[\ۂXX[YX][ۈܘ[K[x&\Hܝ[]HHۙBوX[H\[Y\]H[Z]Yܛ[؂[[[\YK\H\H^YX\[\YK\B[Xܜ[Z[HXH][[\Y\[Z[[\]Z\Y[ [ܙ[][ۈ]H][[]\[]][ۜˈ]H[Y]HYH\ܝ\[\X][YۙY[\Y[]]\H][ [YH[Z]Hۙ\\\\]]]H[\KH[[[XYH][ۈ[][]\HY[ܝ[]Y\܂H\Y\Y\ܘYX][ۋ[H[[Y[x&YZH\H]\YX]ܜ•\H\X[^HZ[]]\XX\[H\ܛH[]HHY\[\Xۈ\Y[˂[\[\ݙ\܋x&YXZH]Hۜ\[[ܚ]H[\YX][ۘ[Y[HY\Hٙ\[ۈ[[\H\XY\[ܚ[ۙ][ۜ[H[[\ۛY[\HXX\[]K]YH\[HH]HܛۈX]\HوH\ܚ˜[XY\\و\[\YY\ˈ\HSH[Y]H]XY\\\X]][]وHٙXH[X\[™H\[HۈHܛ[ ܈\XY\[YX]ܜx&[HHݙ\܈\Y[ۙH\]Z[XB[\[[\[