KNOXVILLE – Three University of Tennessee faculty members have been appointed by the State Board of Education to serve Gov. Bill Haslam’s initiative to review Tennessee’s K-12 academic standards in English language arts and math.
Stephanie Kolitsch, professor of mathematics and director of the West Tennessee STEM Center for Learning at UT Martin, has been appointed to serve on the Mathematics Standards Review and Development Committee and to the role of advisory team leader for the Mathematics Advisory Team for grades 9-12.
Susan Groenke, associate professor of English education and director of the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at UT Knoxville, has been appointed to serve on the English Language Arts Standards Review and Development Committee and to the role of advisory team leader for the English Language Arts Advisory Team for grades 9-12.
Jo Ann Cady, UT Knoxville associate professor of math education, has been appointed to serve on the Math Advisory Team for grades K-5.
Haslam asked the State Board of Education to appoint two committees, the English Language Arts Standards Review and Development Committee and the Mathematics Standards Review and Development Committee, and three advisory teams for each of those committees.
The advisory teams will review Tennessee’s current standards and gather input to make recommendations to the two committees, which will then propose possible changes to the State Board of Education.
UT President Joe DiPietro commended the UT faculty selected for their willingness to contribute their time and expertise.
“I’m proud that we have distinguished faculty selected to serve in these significant roles, and that through them, UT has an opportunity to contribute to ensuring quality public education in Tennessee,” DiPietro said. “Also, from the higher education perspective, it’s important to support implementation of rigorous standards for K-12 programs because they will better equip more high school graduates with needed skills and knowledge to be more successful in college and to complete their degrees more quickly.”
UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes is pleased with Kolitsch’s selection and recognized her previous work in representing the university and mathematics education.
“We’re proud to have Dr. Kolitsch involved in this important statewide work,” Rakes said. “She has represented the university well in other review efforts and will be a valuable resource person for Governor Haslam and Tennessee education.”
The two standards review committees will each be made up of six Tennessee K-12 educators and two representatives from Tennessee higher education institutions for a total of 16 Tennessee professional educators.
Haslam announced the process for public review of the state’s K-12 academic standards in English language arts and mathematics on Wednesday. The process will partner with the State Board of Education and will include input from educators and citizens from across the state.
PHOTO CAPTION – Dr. Stephanie Kolitsch, UT Martin.