Before finalizing a copy of the state's education plan, Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is holding a town hall meeting tonight at Orchard Knob Elementary School. McQueen plans to share information about the plan and gather feedback from the community.
The state's plan empowers school districts to make decisions that best serve its students and increases transparency about how well schools are serving all students, according to Sara Gast, director of strategic communications for the Tennessee Department of Education.
The plan Tennessee has drafted takes strides toward increased accountability and equity within schools.
During the meeting its expected that parents and educators will ask McQueen about standardized testing and the likely state takeover of the district's lowest-performing schools.
The nation's new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, replaces the embattled No Child Left Behind legislation and shifts decision-making power from Washington to the states. The new education law, known as ESSA, requires each state to develop its own plan for education and gives states discretion in setting goals, determining how to hold districts, schools and teachers accountable, and deciding how to intervene in low-performing schools.
For more than a year, Tennessee has been working to develop its plan, and has sought various levels of community and educator feedback throughout the process.
The state is scheduled to submit a final version of its plan to the U.S. Department of Education this spring.
McQueen has held similar meetings in the state's other large school districts last month.