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Maddox chosen as state leader for education forum

Maddox chosen as state leader for education forum
State Representative Mark Maddox (D-Dresden) was chosen to represent Tennessee as a member of a team of policymakers meeting at the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) State Leaders Forum.
The team included representatives of the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee State Board of Education. Maddox joined a select group of state school officers and members of legislatures from 31 states for the two day forum held in Savannah, Ga.
The forum’s focus was on improving high school achievement and graduation rates. The leaders considered ways to improve both achievement and high school completion rates.
Key topics included creating and using the state accountability system to 1) recognize schools which annually increase the percentage of students who graduate ready for further study and careers; 2) strengthen the transition from the middle grades to high school reducing the ninth grade failure rate; 3) broaden the definition of academic rigor to include career/technical programs of study; 4) encourage local school districts to join with other organizations to bring dropouts back into the educational system and help them earn a standard diploma or a GED and an employer certification; and 5) foster better use of the senior year preparing students for graduation and giving students a jump start on college and careers.
“Education is key to our economic development. It is imperative that our state accountability system be used to encourage as many high school graduates that are prepared for careers or further study as possible,” said Maddox, an educator himself.
In the final session, the team reviewed the ten actions suggested in the Blueprint for Raising High School Achievement and Graduation Rates and identified where Tennessee stands on implementing each of those actions as part of a comprehensive set of policies and initiatives for advancing both achievement and graduation rates.
Maddox commented, “This forum encouraged sharing among the states that will help frame the discussion in Tennessee. I was honored to be invited. This will be valuable to us in Tennessee.”
WCP 11.19.09

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