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 teachers accomplish in early childhood lays a foundation for success through post-secondary , and I believe we have an urgent need to invest in the instructional support necessary to help our educators meet the challenge . Efforts like Read to Be Ready demonstrate a commitment from the state that we should build upon , but to achieve success this must truly be a team effort that our state backs fully with improved resources and creative partnerships .
At the other end of a child ’ s school career , we currently have 4 out of 10 Tennessee high school graduates who don ’ t go onto a post-secondary option . And far too many of them graduate unequipped and unprepared for today ’ s job market . This is an issue very dear to me , because developing a trained workforce has been my life for the last 35 years . At Lee Company , we employ several hundred plumbers , pipefitters , and HVAC technicians , and even though we have been one of the most competitive employers in the industry , we ’ ve had to overcome serious challenges in recruiting and growing a workforce that meets the needs of our customers . We responded to the challenge by developing our own technical education program , and we ’ re fortunate to be one of many companies who have committed to growing job skills in Tennessee .
As we look towards the next 8 years Tennessee , our CTE instructors will likely face new challenges regarding training , equipment , and coordination at the school level and with our TBR institutions . But I believe if we support our local districts with aligned investments at every level , and if we commit to a stronger partnership with private industry , we can and will lead the nation in giving every student opportunities for a career after graduation .
Any final thoughts you ’ d like to share with our educators ?
There is no doubt in my mind that what our teachers do in the classroom will have the biggest impact on our students . And as your Governor , I ’ d make it a consistent priority in our educational agenda to lift up the profession and ensure our policies and working conditions promote an environment where teachers can thrive .
At Lee Company we have grown because of the hard work and leadership of our employees . As a CEO , I believe that leadership is about getting out of the office and learning from our people on the ground . For our school leaders and educators , I ’ ll be a Governor is someone who is available and is willing to listen .
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[\[[\[