StudentsFirst, which supports school vouchers and a state charter authorizer, gives Tennessee an ‘F’ in “school choice” as part of its rating of state school systems because, well, it doesn’t have a voucher system and a state charter authorizer..
That’s the main negative in an otherwise fairly positive outlook in StudentsFirst’s 2014 Tennessee report card released today. Tennessee received a “C” score overall — sixth among all states — up from a “C minus” a year ago.
“Our leaders should be encouraged by the rise in Tennessee’s report card grade, and motivated to continue the course for reform,” said Brent Easley, state director of StudentsFirst Tennessee.
His group plans to use the report card’s findings as it pushes policy during the upcoming legislative session, which kicks off today.
The Sacramento-based lobbying organization, founded by former Washington, D.C., Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in 2010, rolled out a new state-by-state grading system last year, not to measure academic achievement but to evaluate states by what it calls “student-centered policies.”
In most academic metrics, Tennessee ranks in the bottom half of the United States in performance and in some cases near the bottom.
But it has earned high marks from StudentsFirst, in part because of its utilization of new teacher evaluations and creation of the Achievement School District, a state-led operation that has turned Tennessee’s lowest-performing schools over to outside charter operators.
Note: the Tennessee StudentsFirst report card is HERE.
The news release is below.