Alexander & Jeb Bush, Supporting CCSS

Where are the educators in this discussion???

“U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will appear with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Gov. Bill Haslam (R-TN) Wednesday at an education roundtable discussion sponsored by pro-Common Core Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tennessee Business Roundtable.”

Essay Test Scoring

The more we find out about the scoring of essay tests, the uglier it gets…

“After three years working as a scorer, Dan DiMaggio says he’s a skimming machine. “It’s ugly,” he says. “You just go as fast as possible.”


“Eventually, DiMaggio got used to not asking questions. He got used to skimming the essays as fast as possible, glancing over the responses for about two minutes apiece before clicking a score.”

Read the full article here.

“Faux” Parent Groups are VERY Real

Speaking of Tennessee’s Education Commissioner, Kevin Huffman:

“As with many of the “problems” he pointed to during his talk, he didn’t offer up any suggestions on how to rectify the lack of parental input in his reform process, nor did he ask for ideas from the audience. He went on to give a very convoluted reason for not reaching out to parents which made my jaw drop in disbelief: He told the CEOs that “there are several faux parent groups that claim to represent parents but they don’t and they have ulterior motives and agenda.” 

Um. WOW! My hand shot up in an attempt to get the opportunity to ask what “faux parent groups” he was referring to exactly. One could argue that StudentsFirst could be labeled in such a way, but somehow I don’t think he was disparaging his ex-wife’s astroturf education group which has lobbyists on the Hill advocating for Huffman’s reforms. I got the distinct impression he was talking about TREE and all the other parent groups that have popped up across Tennessee because parents have had enough of his “do-what-I-say-or-else” reforms”

If you are a parent, and fed up with the spin coming out of Nashville, please click this link to read the full article.

America’s Top Colleges & TFA

by Mark Naison

“I  wonder what future historians will say about the nation’s top colleges- especially the Ivies,- enthusiastically welcoming a program that systematically undermines the teaching profession and provides replacement labor for cities trying to weaken, if not destroy teachers unions and fire veteran union teachers. That organization is Teach for America and those schools are its major recruiting ground.”

Please read Mark’s entire post here.


Reforming Michelle Rhee

Reforming Michelle Rhee:
Running the show in D.C. didn’t work out.
Now in Tennessee, she’s hoping cash is king.

“Ever since she resigned as chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools in 2010 and started StudentsFirst, Rhee has raised millions of dollars from rich donors, which she funnels to local lawmakers who support her policies. Nowhere has her influence been felt more acutely than in Tennessee, where campaigns are a bargain and where legislators eager to amend the state’s dismal record on education have made it a mecca for reformers. To Rhee the mission also has a personal angle: Her ex-husband, Kevin Huffman, is commissioner of the state Department of Education and her two daughters attend school in Nashville.”

Click here to read the full article in New Republic

Rutherford County Stands Up

by Larry Proffitt

On March 6th, in Murfreesboro, TN, parents, grandparents, community members, and teachers, stood up to ask real questions of the NOT student-friendly group, “Students First.”

Not only were there TEA members in attendance from four different local affiliates, including the Tennessee Retired Teachers Association, but Murfreesboro and Rutherford County proved to have attentive educated parents who weren’t duped by shallow explanations,  catch phrases, and unsupported documentation.

What a night!  It was a great success for citizens who care for their Tennessee public schools!  One lady seemed to know everyone there. She hugged most of them and greeted them with warm words. Toward the end of the evening, she was recognized to speak from the back of the room, which fell silent with her first words.

“You keep saying parents’ choice over our public schools, but our teachers don’t have a choice about common core or all this testing. You keep cherry-picking the people you want to answer your questions.”

It was phenomenal!  Parents and grandparents spoke up, questioning the money trail entering the state from private interest lobbyists, certification of teachers in private schools, and accountability of the private schools that would be taking THEIR public tax dollars. Rutherford and Murfreesboro Education Associations have great, politically educated communities.  An amazing night was had by all.

The organizers stopped the event short of their time limit when they saw the snowball building bigger and bigger.  All of the General Assembly should hear the way the hosts talked about the lack of involvement that should be expected in the zoning of Tennessee’s school children. They also made it clear that their goal was not to stop with the current bill.

It is clear that representatives of the Beacon Center and Students First are steadfast in their message that bureaucrats have no place in determining where students go to school.

Why School Isn’t for Children

“…no matter how fluent my students are, no matter how amazing their writing, no matter how much they know about so many topics, they MUST be able to sit for two and a half hours straight and read 6-7 reading selections and write approximately 12 essay questions giving the scorers EXACTLY what they’re looking for or they won’t get their points and they won’t get their scores.”

Click here to read the full article in the Washington Post

Stand up for education, stand up for yourself. VOTE!

Stand up for education, stand up for yourself. VOTE! from IEANEA on Vimeo.

The March 18 election will have a huge impact on Illinois and public schools.

A few years ago, Wisconsin elected an anti-public education, anti-union governor. This brief video shows what kind of an impact that election had on members and leaders of the NEA affiliate in Wisconsin.

Teachers Opt Own Children Out of Testing

“Some states have laws and policies that allow parents to opt their children out.  Tennessee does not.  Yet…  

There is currently a Bill in the Legislature that, if it passes, would allow parents to legally Opt-Out of testing for their children without penalties (HB 1841 / SB 2221) .  The Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Gloria Johnson, is also a teacher.


 (Unfortunately, a half a BILLION dollar fiscal note has been attached to the bill, and the bill has been rolled to the final calendar to prevent it from passing.  Contact Governor Haslam if you’re not happy about that.  His phone # is 615-741-2001 and his email is: “

To read about opting Tennessee students out of testing, please click this link.


Arizona Senate Bans Common Core

“Arizona adopted the Common Core standards in 2010 without opposition, but some Republicans have recently denounced the standards, saying they are a poorly conceived, federally driven effort that usurps states’ rights.”

Read more about Arizona’s decision to ban the Common Core State Standards here.