NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A new report considers whether the state is making the grade when it comes to improving student achievement. Tuesday, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) its annual "State of Education in Tennessee" report.
"It's time for students to stop drawing the short straw," 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year, Allyson Chick, told the crowd during SCORE's announcement.
SCORE is outlining changes that need to be made to continue the momentum after it found last year Tennessee students made the greatest gains in state history.
"By in large I think we feel like lawmakers have laid the ground work and much more work ahead is about implementation," Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said.
One of the five priorities outlined include raising the bar for the teaching profession, by providing professional development and ongoing feedback.
"It should be that every child and every parent is confident in the school year they're about to begin because they have a highly effective teacher every year," Chick said.
SCORE recommends making it harder to enter the profession by increasing the college entrance and licensure requirements.
"I think quality of teachers is the absolute foundation of everything we do," Jesse Register, Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools said.
That's why the report advises districts to invest in recruiting and retaining the best candidates. "We need to reward our good teachers, the ones who are actually helping children learn," Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell said. "That's who should get additional money. I think everyone's for rewarding good teachers."
Right now it's a set of ideas on paper. It's up to the stakeholders in this room to commit to making it a reality.
SCORE also recommends that districts provide more professional development for principals, utilize more technology in classrooms and improve parental involvement. Educators say the turnaround has begun, but there's a lot more work to do.