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KNOXVILLE—Tennessee teachers are wrapping up their first school year under a new evaluation system. A discussion and public forum will explore the changes and their impact on East Tennessee schools.

University of Tennessee public radio station WUOT 91.9 FM and the Southern Education Desk will host “Making the Grade: Tennessee’s Teacher Evaluations” on Thursday, May 10. The public forum is from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in rooms 156 and 157 of the Plant Biotechnology Building, 2505 E. J. Chapman Drive, on the UT Agricultural Campus.

The forum—which will be live-tweeted at @SouthernEdDesk, with the hashtag #SEDKnox—will examine the data behind teacher evaluations, changes in the classroom and the role businesses play in teacher quality. Christine Jessel, WUOT’s Southern Education Desk reporter, will moderate the event. The following panelists will share their perspectives and take questions from the audience:

  • Byron Booker, Tennessee Teacher of the Year 2012, Central High School
  • Wanda Costen, UT associate professor, education advocate, parent
  • Mike Edwards, Tennessee Board of Education member; president, and CEO, Knoxville Chamber
  • Tamara Shepherd, parent and education advocate
  • Jamie Woodson, president and CEO, State Collaborative on Reforming Education

Free parking is available after 5:00 p.m. behind the College of Veterinary Medicine. A map is available on WUOT’s website at

The Southern Education Desk comprises eight Southern public radio and television partners and is funded through a $1.2 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Each partnering station hired a journalist specifically to report on the unique educational challenges of the Southern region and examine potential solutions. Details about the Southern Education Desk are available at

Listener-supported WUOT 91.9 FM is licensed to UT. WUOT is a member of NPR and a Public Radio International affiliate. The station’s primary format is classical and jazz music, news and public affairs. WUOT serves listeners throughout East Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. The station broadcasts twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and streams on the web at WUOT’s second audio channel, WUOT-2, is available on HD Radio™, Internet radio, and on the web.

C O N T A C T :

Christine Jessel (865-974-5044,