Education standards and testing focus of Vanderbilt panel March 9

Education researchers and thought leaders will explore testing and assessments in Tennessee's K-12 education. (iStock)

A community forum, “Standards and Testing: What’s Missing from the Current Debate,” will take place Monday, March 9, at noon in the community room at the downtown Nashville Public Library (619 Church St.). The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required.

A panel of education researchers and thought leaders from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development will take a deeper look at the issues currently surrounding Tennessee’s K-12 testing and standards.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • How should early learning research shape testing and standards?
  • What are the possibilities and limitations of assessment?
  • What is the role of standards in guiding good instruction?
  • How are standards and curriculum different?
  • What are the links among poverty, education and achievement in urban settings?

Attendees may submit questions for panelists in writing at the door; by emailing (Include “question for panelists” in the subject line); or by tweeting using the hashtag #edustandards. @vupeabody will be live tweeting the event.

To secure a seat and box lunch, RSVP via Eventbrite by March 2 or call (615) 343-1790.

Parking is offered in the adjacent garage.

The forum is sponsored by The Vanderbilt Center for Nashville Studies, The Nashville Public Library and Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.


Camilla Benbow
Camilla Benbow (Vanderbilt)

Introduction: Camilla BenbowPatricia and Rodes Hart Dean of education and human development


  • Rogers Hall (panel moderator), professor and chair, Department of Teaching and Learning. His research in the late ’80s supported revisions to mathematics standards and the design of NSF curricula aligned to these standards. He is a 2015 Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and continues design research on learning in and out of school.
  • Carol R. Johnson, a former teacher, principal and superintendent of Boston Public Schools and visiting professor at Peabody in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations. As part of a former Boston mayor’s administration, her district focused on closing achievement and access gaps. She is a Fisk University graduate and former Memphis schools administrator.
  • Barbara Stengel, Peabody professor of the practice, associate chair of Teaching and Learning, director of the Secondary Education program, and co-director of the Teaching and Learning in Urban Schools master’s degree program with MNPS.
  • Marcy Singer-Gabella, chief academic officer for Project GRAD, an organization that partners with schools and communities to promote college access and success. Currently, GRAD and school leadership teams are working to enact an inquiry-oriented model of “ambitious instruction” in schools that have been designated as failing. She is on leave from Peabody as professor of the practice, teaching and learning.
  • Rich Lehrer, Frank W. Mayborn Professor of Teaching and Learning at Peabody. He is a member of recent National Research Council panels, one on integrated STEM learning and the other on science assessment. He works with schools in Phoenix, Arizona and Springdale, Arkansas.
  • Catherine Gavin Loss (Q&A moderator), assistant professor of the practice, Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Peabody; director of the Master of Public Policy in Education program; and coordinator, doctoral program in educational leadership and policy.