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TN school superintendents ask legislature to leave standards alone this year

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KNOXVILLE (News Sentinel) - NASHVILLE — Most of the school superintendents across Tennessee have signed a letter asking state legislators to hold off changing the state's public K-12 academic standards until a standards review process set up by Gov. Bill Haslam finishes its work next year.

The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents, or TOSS, presented the letter signed by 114 of the superintendents of Tennessee's 141 school districts Tuesday at the State Capitol. The signers, including Knox Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre, represent districts that school 850,000 students, 86 percent of the state's public school students.

The letter says that school systems, starting with the tougher standards enacted with the Tennessee Diploma Project in 2008, have implemented major changes every year, at the direction of either the legislature or State Board of Education. “We have made significant progress in the quality of education that our students receive and districts have shouldered the process with a keen understanding that we are continuing on a path of improvement in student learning...

“Now we are asking that our teachers, administrators and students be afforded the opportunity of stability that is just on the horizon. Specifically, we are asking that no legislative action be taken during the 2015 legislative session to change our academic standards,” the letter said.

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