Teacher Pay, Testing, and Guns: A Tennessee Education Story

Another week in the Wild West that is Tennessee education policy

Andy Spears
3 min readMay 24, 2024
Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Education policy in Tennessee is a bit of a misadventure.

You can count on this: Schools will be underfunded, teachers will be disrespected, and the needs of students will be ignored.

As it has been, so it shall be.

Here’s the evidence from this week:

I write this story every year. Have been since about 2015.

State standardized tests are always a problem.

This year, like so many before, the tests were not ready on time to be included in student final grades.

The tests do a fine job of assessing which students are either from low-wealth homes or in schools with concentrated poverty.

Otherwise, they are essentially useless. Unless you’re the testing vendor drawing a contract in excess of $100 million.



Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .