Politics

8:14am

Thu March 13, 2014
Politics

UT President Says School Can't Ban Sex Week Event

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro is urging lawmakers not to pursue legislation that would penalize the school over its student-run Sex Week.

In a letter to Senate leaders, DiPietro argues that First Amendment protections prevent the school from ending the event that has raised the hackles of GOP leaders in the General Assembly.

The letter is in response to one written earlier by the chairs of two Senate committees, warning that new UT funding could be threatened if Sex Week wasn't put to a halt.

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8:13am

Thu March 13, 2014
Politics

Measure Would Prohibit Teacher Licensure Rules

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal that would prohibit standardized test scores from being tied to teacher licensing is advancing in the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville was approved in the Senate Education Committee 7-2 on Wednesday.

The Tennessee Department of Education recommended the new licensure policy, and the State Board of Education voted in August to support it. However, the board changed its stance in January.

Bell's legislation would prevent the policy from taking effect if the board approves it.

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10:19am

Tue March 11, 2014
Politics

Bill Gives Students Free Religious Expression

Credit gideons.org

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Legislation that would allow a student to express a religious belief in a school assignment has passed the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Courtney Rogers of Goodlettsville was overwhelmingly approved 90-2 on Monday.

Under the proposal, a student could express beliefs about religion in homework, artwork and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content.

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10:14am

Tue March 11, 2014
Politics

Knoxville Lawsuit Challenges Use of Student Test Scores

 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/TNS/WMOT) — Tennessee's largest teachers' union is suing the Knox County Board of Education, claiming the student test scores used to assess a teacher's performance were flawed and cost her a bonus.

 

The Tennessee Education Association has long argued that the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, or TVAAS, shouldn't be relied upon because it's a statistical estimate.

The lawsuit says Knox County teacher Lisa Trout was unfairly denied the district's bonus after being misled about how her TVAAS estimate would be calculated.

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12:30pm

Mon March 10, 2014
Politics

Tenn. House Looks at "Merry Christmas" Bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state House is scheduled to take up legislation Monday night that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations, or religious displays.

The Senate version of the bill was unanimously approved 30-0 last month.

The legislation says schools can display scenes or symbols associated with such celebrations on school property, if the display includes more than one religion, or one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol. Messages that encourage adherence to a particular religious belief are prohibited.

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