Education Policies Must Work in Classrooms

Commercial Appeal 

Candace Hines, a kindergarten teacher in the Achievement School District in Memphis, writes in the Commercial Appeal about ESSA in Tennessee, and how the law gives the state “more autonomy to design policies to meet the needs of our state’s students,” which is an opportunity to “build on the progress we’ve made and enact change, particularly in traditionally-underserved communities.” When thinking about improving student achievement, we must consider a broad spectrum of factors, including those that are “unique to specific communities and populations.” ESSA “empowers Tennessee with the responsibility to decide how to close achievement gaps, improve schools and make sure that all our children succeed,” and these decisions “must be made collaboratively.” Hines encourages policymakers to visit more classrooms, meet teachers, students, and parents, and hear all of their perspectives.

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