Race to the Top
It is important that we protect and build on the federal Race to the Top grant that Governor Bredesen secured in 2010. The initiative raised standards and revamped curriculum. Our students currently rank 46th in math proficiency levels and 41st in reading but we can do better. Race to the Top money needs to be followed closely so that the money goes to teachers and classrooms and not bureaucratic programs that provide stumbling blocks and that no one can track.
We need to continue to build support finding and recruiting leadership that can turn failing schools around as well as focus improving student performance. With only 15 percent of Tennessee students college-ready in all four subject areas on the ACT, Tennesseans have a long way to go but with the right focus and energy we can achieve success for our young people. We need to expand the number of college scholarships for Tennessee students so more middle-class families can afford college.
Keep the Classroom Small
Gov. Haslem proposed to allow local Tennessee school districts to determine class sizes. This type move would take away from student achievement and increase a lack of discipline in the classroom. Teachers continue to advocate for smaller classroom sizes and it is important we stand with them to ensure that a classroom is the best place for a student to learn. I will fight to see this happen.
Commitment to Education
I went to Dodson and DuPont elementary, DuPont Middle, and was a sophomore when DuPont High closed in 1986. After graduating from Hunters Lane, I received a Bachelor's Degree from Austin Peay and a Masters from Middle Tennessee State.
Michelle and I believe in public education. We have four children that attend our local elementary, middle, and high school in District 60. We both sit on the Parent Advisory Council for DuPont Middle and McGavock High. I currently sit on the board of the McGavock Cluster Coalition and I am committed to seeing our schools preform at the highest levels.