Tennessee faculties leader Candice McQueen leaving

Tennessee’s schooling leader is leaving the state government to steer a nonprofit organization focused on attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional educators.


Candice McQueen, 44, will step down in early January to become the CEO of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.

Gov. Bill Haslam, whose administration will cease on Jan. 19, introduced his schooling commissioner’s impending departure on Thursday.

He plans to name a period in-between commissioner, in keeping with an e-mail from McQueen to her workforce on the training branch.

“While I am excited about this new opportunity, it’s far tough to leave this group,” she wrote. “You are laser-focused on doing the proper aspect for Tennessee’s students every unmarried day – and I take coronary heart in understanding you will maintain this true work in the months and years yet to come. I sit up for persevering with to guide your work whilst I pass into this new position with NIET.”

A former instructor and university dean, McQueen has been one of all Haslam’s highest-profile cupboard members considering becoming a management member in 2015 to replace Kevin Huffman, a lawyer who turned into a govt at Teach For America.

Her tenure has been highlighted by using overhauling the country’s requirements for student mastering, growing transparency about how Tennessee college students are doing, and launching a primary initiative to enhance studying abilities in a state that struggles with literacy.

But lots of the good work has been overshadowed by repeated technical disasters in Tennessee’s transfer to a computerized standardized check — even forcing McQueen to cancel testing for most college students in her 2nd year on the helm. The evaluation software endured conflicting this spring, marred using days of technical system faults.

Haslam, who has always praised McQueen’s leadership through the rocky testing journey, said Tennessee’s education machine had stepped forward underneath her watch.

“Candice has worked relentlessly considering that day one for Tennessee’s students and teachers, and below her leadership, Tennessee earned its first ‘A’ score for the requirements and the rigor of the country’s assessment after receiving an ‘F’ score a decade ago,” Haslam said in a statement. “Candice has raised the bar for both instructors and college students across the kingdom, allowing them to upward thrust to their greatest capability. I am thankful for her service.”

McQueen said being training commissioner has been “the honor of a lifetime” and that her new activity will allow her to “stay an recommend for Tennessee’s instructors and paintings to ensure every infant is in a class led through a fantastic instructor every day.”

At the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, she’ll make paintings with states, districts, and colleges to improve instructors’ effectiveness. She could perform out of the corporation’s new workplace in Nashville. The institute’s paintings influence more than 250,000 educators and a couple of—five million college students.

“Candice McQueen is aware that distinctly powerful teachers can honestly remodel the lives of our children, our classrooms, our groups, and our futures,” stated Lowell Milken, chairman of the institute, which has current workplaces in Phoenix, Washington, D.C., and Santa Monica, Calif.

In an interview with Chalkbeat, McQueen stated numerous agencies had approached her approximate jobs this 12 months as Tennessee prepared to transition to brand new management underneath Gov.-elect Bill Lee. She is known as main the institute “an outstanding opportunity that I felt became a notable suit” because of its cognizance on supporting, leading, and compensating instructors.

“Its paintings that I agree with is the heart and soul of student improvement,” she stated.

McQueen’s whole profession has centered on strengthening instructor effectiveness and aid systems for instructors. Before joining Haslam’s management, the Tennessee local become an award-triumphing teacher, then faculty member, branch chair, and dean of Lipscomb University’s College of Education in Nashville. As dean from 2008 to 2015, Lipscomb has become one of the maximum-rated instructor’s practice applications in Tennessee and the state. There, McQueen additionally doubled the scale and attained of the college’s graduate applications with new master’s stages and certificate, the college’s first doctoral program, and extra online and off-campus services.