One higher ed teacher speaks on the quality of students he is getting.
"In my six semesters, I have seen students so ill prepared by their K-12 education that we should be ashamed to admit they came from our West Tennessee school systems. I am talking shockingly, even tragically ill prepared. How is it possible they have gone through 12 years of schooling and they don't know even the basics of the English language and are unable to write a simple sentence? How did our school systems let this happen? How did we let this happen? We owe these kids an apology for failing to give them an education.
Taxpayers should be outraged that children could spend 12 years in our schools and not know how to speak, use anything even close to standard English or write a simple sentence after we spent millions on teacher salaries.
And I am not talking about troubled students. I am not talking about students who are not very bright. I am talking about normal kids who come to class, who try to do the work, who come from normal families and who seem to care about going to college.
These are not troublemakers, gangbangers, troubled kids or students who are disruptive. What have we done to them by failing to educate them? We should be ashamed that we have let this happen, and we desperately need to fix the problem."
Jim Tracy speaks on why unions impede repair of the system
"First, it is our dedicated teachers, not the teachers' union, that truly impact the students of Tennessee. Teachers' unions are in the business of protecting membership and power, not serving the best interests of students or the teachers they represent. The lengthy contracts that unions negotiate include numerous provisions on salaries, insurance, leave and benefits, but provisions on student performance and improving outcomes are lost in the process. We must begin to focus on students with our decision-making, and collective bargaining stands in the way."
Mike Stewart thinks reform is not necessary and that things are fine.
"teachers are hard-working, dynamic leaders who are driving innovation, accountability and overall improvement. The contrary view embodied by the Republican leadership's bill is largely promoted by people from outside the state, who cite anecdotal evidence from highly dysfunctional districts that bear little relation to what is happening here.
We should avoid the temptation to "reform'' Tennessee's schools every time it is fashionable with one political interest group or another."