News + Events

Governor Haslam Appoints FHU Dean to Standards Recommendation Committee

Nashville, Tennessee - Aug 03, 2015

Freed-Hardeman University Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Sharen Cypress has been appointed to the Standards Recommendation Committee by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. She will be among ten committee members making final recommendations to the State Board of Education on new standards to fit the needs of Tennessee’s K-12 students.

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointments of four people to the Standards Recommendation Committee that will make final recommendations to the State Board of Education on new standards to fit the needs of Tennessee’s K-12 students.

The Standards Recommendation Committee will be composed of 10 members. Under legislation passed by the Tennessee General Assembly this year, the governor appoints four members of the committee, with the speaker of the Senate and speaker of the House appointing three each.

The four members appointed by the governor are:
Dr. Sharen Cypress, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at Freed- Hardeman University. Tracy Franklin, principal at Steekee Elementary School in Loudon County. Amy Gullion, K-5 instructional coach at Smyrna Elementary School in Rutherford County. Doug Hungate, academic director at Cheatham County Central High School.

“We are committed to obtaining the highest possible standards in Tennessee’s schools, and I am grateful to these dedicated educators for agreeing to serve in this effort,” Haslam said. “All Tennesseans want the best for our students, and this process will build on the historic gains we have made in education.”

The formation of the Standards Recommendation Committee follows a process started by Haslam in October 2014 to take a fresh look at state standards in education, following discussions with educators across the state and an education summit Haslam co-hosted last September with Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

After the summit, the governor announced the creation of a standards review website open to the public to offer feedback on what Tennessee K-12 students should know and be able to do by the end of each school year in mathematics and English language arts. The website was open for six months and allowed any individual to comment on over 1,100 content standards in English language arts and over 900 standards in math. Nearly 3,000 people logged in to view the website and a total of 131,424 reviews and 20,344 comments were received from 2,262 reviewers. The majority of the feedback came from Tennessee teachers.

The General Assembly built on those efforts with legislation this year creating the process for establishing new standards. Under the legislation, the State Board of Education appoints advisory teams to assist standards review and development committees, which are also appointed by the state board. The standards review and development committees make recommendations to the 10-member Standards Recommendation Committee.

The post-secondary-and-workforce ready standards are to be adopted through an open, transparent process and are to be fully implemented in Tennessee schools in the 2017-2018 school year.