We already had our sights on Tennessee education, and new action down there adds to the growing evidence that the Volunteer State isn’t messing around about education reform. In the latest example, the Nashville Tennessean reports that many of the city’s schools with poor No Child Left Behind performance are getting new principals.
According to the newspaper, Tennessee already has a small track record in this area. They replaced the principal at the Maplewood High School last year. This year that school met its testing benchmarks for the first time in almost a decade.
Meanwhile, here in Kentucky, doing anything significant in local school systems – even when clearly warranted – is as far away as possible from the minds of Frankfort educators.
Consider Kentucky’s case in point high school example. Last year, despite abundant evidence that the Covington Independent School District’s Holmes Junior-Senior High had horrible performance, the Kentucky Board of Education refused to step in beyond shifting control of the school’s site base council to – that district’s own superintendent. No one got replaced. The state board did the very least it could get away with. That’s what happens when there is a failure to lead.
Well, it looks like Tennessee’s education system understands its obligations, and that state clearly has leaders who are willing to step out and make some tough choices. And, we think it’s working in Tennessee. We’ll tell you more about that very shortly.