Archives: April 2019

Weekly Update, April 22, 2019
High-Quality Schools Legislation, Assessment Time and more!

This legislative session is still expected to wrap up work by mid-May and we are continuing to monitor key education bills scheduled for floor votes soon. Also, we are excited to update you on Governor Lee’s high-quality public charter schools legislation creating a statewide authorizer, which is headed to his desk for his signature. 

We are also happy to report, thanks to the hard work of Governor Lee and Commissioner Schwinn, statewide assessments have gone smoothly so far!

Keep reading for ways to get involved with other Tennessees to help promote student success!


Statewide Public Charter School Authorizer Bill Passes

Following approval by the House last week, the Senate passed HB940/ SB796 sending the bill to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This piece of legislation is a signature piece of Governor Lee’s 2019 legislative agenda and establishes a nine-member statewide public charter school authorizer commission to help establish more good public charter schools and close those that are not performing well. The new commission will have the authority to review on appeal applications to establish a new charter school if denied by a local school board. This piece of legislation will also allow the commission to serve as a local education agency for any public charter school it authorizes.

At Tennesseans for Student Success, we believe this legislation will have a positive impact on the expansion of high-quality public charter schools across the state by ensuring the charter school appellate process is consistent. Also, we hope this will increase the number of high-quality applications to establish new public charter schools.

We thank Governor Lee for his commitment to improving access to excellent public education options and ensuring success for all our students!


Positive Statewide Assessment Testing Period

The 2019 TNReady statewide assessment is in full swing and the administration and rollout have gone very smoothly since the beginning of the testing period on April 8.

Due in large part to the commitment of Commissioner Penny Schwinn and Governor Bill Lee, our students have had a positive testing experience this past month. Also, thank you to our dedicated teachers across the state for ensuring our students are prepared and test ready.

Commissioner Schwinn is committed to keep us on this upward trajectory by implementing several new precautions, including a control room for the busiest days of testing, several additional layers of oversight, and staff across the state, who are available at a moments notice to tackle any problems that may arise.

With bids for the new testing vendor due this week, the new testing company will have a full year to ensure they are capable to handle administering the assessment online since all public school students will take their annual assessment on paper next year.

We strongly believe in the importance of an annual statewide assessment to measure student and teacher success and also highlight areas where improvement is needed. Thank you to Commissioner Schwinn and the Lee Administration for ensuring our students receive the smoothest administration possible and are put on a path to succeed. 


Get Involved!

Join us for our April Middle Tennessee Education Chat + Networking Event!

On this coming Thursday, April 25, join us for our April Education Chat and Networking event at Red Bicycle Coffee and Crepes from 5:00 PM CT- 6:00 PM CT. 

Nominate an Educator for Tennesseans for Student Success Advocate of the Month!

We will celebrate a passionate educator making a difference from each of the grand divisions (East, Middle, and West Tennessee) each month. Nominate an educator going above and beyond for his or her students!


Use Your Voice

Want to learn more about Tennesseans for Student Success and our legislative agenda? Visit our advocacy center here
Weekly Update, April 15, 2019
Legislative Session Winding Down, Accountability, and more!

With the General Assembly expected to wrap up work by mid-May, we are still monitoring remaining education bills, including key public charter schools legislation. Today, we’ll update you on a bill to provide more post-secondary opportunities and discuss the importance of accountability among our educators.Also, we want to wish all our students across the state good luck on assessments, which are beginning this week! 

Read below about ways to partner with us and other Tennesseans to use your voice to help promote student success!


GIVE Act Headed for Governor’s Desk

The GIVE Act, the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education Act, has passed through both the House and Senate and is now headed to Governor Lee’s desk for his signature. By providing funding for more dual enrollment credits and creating regional partnerships for students to gain on-the-job experience, the GIVE Act will be a great step towards ensuring our students have pathways to success upon leaving graduation.

Also, we support providing families and students with high-quality public charter school options. HB940/ SB796 would create a statewide authorizer to help open more good public charter schools and close charter schools that are not performing well. This bill is set to be heard on the full House floor Wednesday morning and in the Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee tomorrow.

Do you want to help Tennessee continue to lead student growth and create more opportunities for families and students? Sign a letter to your state legislator.


Protecting Accountability in Our Schools

To ensure student success, there must be accountability for everyone involved in the classroom. We hold everyone accountable by measuring for success. Student success starts with a high-quality teacher. A strong teacher evaluation system is essential to recognizing and celebrating effective educators while highlighting where more focus and additional training could be beneficial.Our students deserve high-quality teachers that are given feedback and supported through professional evaluations. If you support our teachers being given opportunities for professional development and growth, sign a letter to help provide every student with first-rate classroom instruction.


Thank You to Our Assistant Principals!

Last week, we celebrated National Assistant Principals Week across Tennessee. We stopped by schools across the state to deliver a special treat to say THANK YOU to these school leaders for making a difference every day in our schools.


Get Involved!

Nominate an Educator for Tennesseans for Student Success Advocate of the Month!

We will celebrate a passionate educator making a difference from each of the grand divisions (East, Middle, and West Tennessee) each month. Nominate an educator going above and beyond for his or her students! 


Use Your Voice

Want to learn more about Tennesseans for Student Success and our legislative agenda? Visit our advocacy center here
Weekly Update, April 8, 2019
Key Public Charter Schools Legislation, Annual Assessments, and more!

The Tennessee General Assembly is beginning to wrap up work, with three of the four House education subcommittees now closed and full committees moving remaining bills. Today, we’ll update you on a bill to help ensure Tennessee has high-quality public charter schools, and we’ll touch on student assessments happening later this month.

Help us promote student success and read below about ways to partner with us and other Tennesseans to use your voice!


Key Public Charter Schools Legislation Moving Forward

Governor Bill Lee’s public charter schools legislation, HB940/ SB796, would create a statewide authorizer to help ensure Tennessee’s public charter schools are high quality. This bill continues to clear key hurdles and will be heard in both House and Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committees on Tuesday.Every student deserves a chance to succeed in the classroom, and we support providing students and families with high-quality public charter school options. If you support Governor Lee and providing high quality public charter school options, sign a letter to your state legislator.


The Value of Annual Assessments

Measuring student achievement each year helps our state to determine whether our students are truly prepared for success, and it helps parents, teachers and school leaders know where to focus their efforts in order to boost student achievement. We strongly believe in the value of an annual, standards-aligned assessment. We also believe that students and teachers work hard in their classrooms all year long, and deserve a smooth administration of these important assessments.That is why we are so proud of Commissioner Penny Schwinn and the Tennessee Department of Education, who have made it a top priority to ensure smooth administration of assessments this year. To the students preparing to complete this assessment and show what they know– best of luck from Tennesseans for Student Success!


Get Involved!

This Week is Assistant Principals Week!

Help us celebrate Assistant Principal’s THIS WEEK. Nominate an Assistant Principalyou think is doing a great job! We will be by stopping by schools with a special treat for them and the staff throughout the week. 

Nominate an Educator for Tennesseans for Student Success Advocate of the Month!

Each month, we will celebrate a passionate educator making a difference from each of the grand divisions (East, Middle, and West Tennessee). Nominate an educator going above and beyond for his or her students! 


Use Your Voice

Want to learn more about Tennesseans for Student Success and our legislative agenda? Visit our advocacy center here
Weekly Update, April 1, 2019
This Week: GIVE Act Pushing Forward, Final Calendars & More!

As the General Assembly continues to discuss key pieces of legislation, we are excited by the GIVE Act– a Lee Administration bill clearing a big hurdle last week and moving one step closer to providing more students with opportunities to succeed. Also, the House Education Subcommittees are beginning to wrap up. 

Keep reading to learn how to partner with us and other Tennesseans to use your voice and advocate for policies that promote student success!

GIVE Act Passes Out of the Full Senate!

Governor Lee’s GIVE Act, (SB805/HB949), the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education Act, passed out of the full Senate last Thursday. 

Last week we told you about Governor Lee’s budget making education a priority, with $25 million going towards the GIVE Act, which would build public-private partnerships to provide access to more postsecondary opportunities for high school students across Tennessee.

At Tennesseans for Student Success, we believe alignment between high school classrooms and the workforce is essential to ensure our students are prepared to fill available jobs and secure economic independence upon graduation. 

The GIVE Act is scheduled to be heard in the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee tomorrow. Show your support for increasing educational opportunities for our students and sign a letter for your legislator.


House Education Subcommittees Final Calendars Scheduled

Throughout this legislative session, we have been monitoring critical pieces of legislation that will provide students across the state the opportunity to be successful in their classrooms today and futures tomorrow.The four House Education Subcommittees have submitted their final calendars to be heard next week.Stay tuned for more updates coming soon on key pieces of legislation!


Volunteer with Us!

Help us celebrate Assistant Principals Week!
We will be celebrating Assistant Principal’s April 8- 12 by stopping by schools with a special treat for them and the staff. Nominate an Assistant Principal you think is doing a great job!


Use Your Voice

Want to learn more about Tennesseans for Student Success and our legislative agenda? Visit our advocacy center here