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Cox chosen for state leadership council
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Tennessee officials announced today the formation of a Common Core Leadership Council, giving districts a voice in the statewide transition to Common Core State Standards. The Leadership Council will advise the department on the Common Core transition plan and directly lead and manage all aspects of the work.
Thirteen directors, supervisors and an assistant principal from across the state will advise department officials on formal and informal assessments and professional development resources; shape the framework for all Common Core pilot programs; and become regional experts and leaders in the importance and concrete expectations of the standards. They also will be tasked with the selection and training of exemplary educators, who will facilitate summer training on Common Core implementation in July.
Incoming Warren County director of schools Bobby Cox is one of those chosen for the council, which will give him an inside track to implementing the new standards.
“I appreciate them thinking of me and putting me on this council,” Cox said. “I think it’s a great thing, puts us on the cutting edge of what’s happening, not only statewide, but in the nation. With Race to the Top all states that receive federal money are going to have to implement these common core standards. So being able to have input at the state level, and maybe the national level, is a wonderful thing.”
Cox will be serving on the council for a year, and says the standards will make a difference in how schools teach and prepare students for higher education.
“It’s a smaller set of standards but they were achieved by a group made up of business leaders, educators and politicians in the education arena,” Cox said. “And that’s the whole premise of it, is to help us be more consistent  as a nation on what our students need to learn to improve not only their academic performance to go to college, but also to help our workforce become more educated moving forward.”
State officials agree.
“The transition to Common Core State Standards represents a tremendous opportunity to ensure every child finishes high school college- and career-ready. It is a significant undertaking and a project that can support educators across the state,” said Emily Barton, the department’s assistant commissioner of curriculum and instruction. “We have a rich pool of talented teachers and leaders to help us make this work in Tennessee, and we look forward to working together during this important time of transition.”
The Common Core Leadership Council includes:
• Susie Bunch — director of schools, Lexington City
• John Prince — math instructional coach, Trenton Special School District
• Sharon Cooksey — facilitator for curriculum and professional learning, Franklin Special School District
• Tammy Shelton — supervisor of instruction, Lincoln County
• Bobby Cox — assistant director for teaching and learning, Warren County
• Sharon Harper — director of research and evaluation, Bradley County
• Millicent Smith — director of professional development and social studies supervisor, Knox County
• Theresa Nixon — science supervisor, Knox County
• Vicki Kirk — director of schools, Greene County
• Linda Kennard — director of curriculum and instruction, Memphis City Schools
• David Stephens — assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, Shelby County Schools
• Jared Myracle — assistant principal, Gibson County High School, Gibson County
• Jeanne Ray — associate director of learning, Lebanon Special School District
Leadership Council member Vicki Kirk, director of schools in Greene County, said she looked forward to participating in the Leadership Council.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me and for Greene County to be involved in this,” she said. “The transition to Common Core standards is vitally important for our children, and I’m eager to get to work.”
Common Core State Standards are a rigorous set of internationally benchmarked standards that require from students a deeper level of critical thinking. Forty-six states have agreed to implement these standards, which will give the nation an opportunity to compare progress among students from Tennessee to Florida to Massachusetts.