Allison Chancey participated in her first board meeting in Nashville from Oct. 24 -25 after being appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam.
“I was recommended. I’m not really sure who recommended me, but they called me for interviews … it was pretty rigorous,” Chancey said. “It was just a thrill to make the final (interview). I never expected to get in.”
The board listened to presentations on Thursday and had a voting session Friday.
She will be attending state board meetings four times a year.
During her recent visit to the state capital, Chancey met the other board members and state Educ-ation Commis-sioner Kevin Huffman.
“The other board members are absolutely incredible. I could just sit and listen to them for however long they would let me,” Chancey said. “They made me most welcome.”
She also enjoyed seeing the different views people had on the issues being presented on and discussed.
The local teacher said she is going to enjoy learning about the education issues at the state level.
Chancey said she is looking forward to bringing a teacher’s perspective and voice to the board. She plans to listen to her co-teachers and teachers across the state to understand their feelings on proposed changes.
“It’s really different when you are sitting there in Nashville and talking about what you want to see and we all want the same thing; we all want test scores to increase for kids to be college and career ready, but there are two different perspectives — what you want and what in reality is happening in the classroom,” Chancey said.
As she enters this new role, Chancey said she also feels the stress of not being able to please everyone with decisions she makes as a board member.
She plans to study each issue, read emails and other input she receives and make the decision she deems best.
“Education is in great reform right now there are a lot of positive changes and also a lot of changes that are very overwhelming for students, parents and teachers,” Chancey said.
The most difficult changes for Chancey as a teacher has been the evaluation system and switch to Common Core Standards.
“While the evaluations are stressful, the true challenge for me as a teacher is changing the way I teach to address the Common Core Standards. It is totally different than the way I use to teach. I think it is better, but it has been hard at this point of my career to totally change my style of teaching. The rewarding part of all the extra work and effort is to see my students growing and learning,” Chancey said.
Chancey said the state education department brings ideas to the board for consideration.
Issues the board has discussed during Chancey’s short tenure include Common Core implementation, teacher licensure and teacher pay schedule.
“I voted no on this teacher licensure (being tied to Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System). Not because I don’t think teachers should be held accountable, but if we are going to be held accountable, we ought to be able to understand the numbers. And there are not any that do at this point,” Chancey said.
A TVAAS score is derived from a complex formula using student test data to rate a teacher’s effectiveness. However, teachers do not know the formula that is used.
Despite her new position, Chancey plans on remaining a teacher at Oak Grove Elementary.
Chancey has worked in education for 32 years. Her career started in Special Education.