Lawmakers, superintendents blindsided by Tennessee Education Department learning loss projections

Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn’s announcement of COVID-19-related learning loss projections for Tennessee students took state lawmakers and school superintendents by surprise.



a school bus parked in a parking lot


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In a joint news conference with Gov. Bill Lee last week, Schwinn announced Tennessee students are expected to face learning loss of 50% in English and 65 % in math, stressing the importance of in-person learning. Projections were based on national research and early results of beginning-of-year student checkpoint assessments in Tennessee.

“This press release really caught a lot of us off guard,” Henry County Schools Superintendent Leah Watkins told The Center Square. “I feel like this was a smack in the face of my educators, of my team, who have given up summer break to have had to change everything they do to make it work for a dual environment – virtual and in person. It just feels

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