Archives: September 2019

Tennesseans for Student Success Announces the Release of the 2019 TNSuccessCard

NASHVILLE – Today, Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) announced the release of their 2019 TNSuccessCard, a scorecard to keep Tennessee voters informed and engaged at the ballot box.

Please see the following statement from TSS’ President and CEO, Adam Lister:

“The SuccessCard is a helpful tool to keep voters informed and assist lawmakers in measuring the ways they are actively advancing student-focused policies. Since launching the SuccessCard, Tennesseans for Student Success has talked to more than 300,000 Tennesseans asking what they believe to be the most important policies to improve student learning. It’s clear from those conversations that a top priority of Tennesseans in every corner of the state is that lawmakers and representatives champion policies that will improve student growth and achievement. Tennessee has seen a historic rise in education over the past ten years, and it’s important to us those gains continue.”

Sareatha Murphy, a former educator, current advocate for Tennessee’s students, and parent of public-school students, brings her unique perspective on the importance of being an engaged citizen to this work:

“It’s tools like the Tennessee SuccessCard that I would encourage my fellow Tennesseans to use as they consider whom they would like to represent them in the General Assembly. The Volunteer State has reached new heights in education in recent years, but there is still more work to be done. I’m very proud to be the parent of a child who was selected for a work-based learning opportunity in high school, from there he attended technical college and graduated nine months later earning an industry certificate. I am encouraged by the direction our state is headed as alternative pathways for greater economic stability are becoming the norm. With continued education and engagement on our shared education priorities, we’ll be on the right track to ensure that every student in Tennessee is able to succeed.”

To view the TNSuccessCard, please visit TNSuccessCard.com to view your local legislator’s grade.

Wrapping Up the Summer with Tristar Reads

This is the final week of Tristar Reads and while the program is coming to a close, we hope you continue to keep reading throughout the school year. 

Recapping What We’ve Learned

Knowledge is power and you can gain knowledge through reading. As Tristar Reads comes to a close, we encourage you to keep reading, learning and growing. 

Here’s a quick overview of what we learned this summer: 

1. Your words have power. 

2. Dare to be your own person and celebrate who you are. 

3. You have the right to be heard. 

4. Take a leap of faith and get out of your comfort zone. 

5. Be humble by thinking of yourself less, not less of yourself. 

6. Stay optimistic. 

7. Be a leader. 

We’re thankful you joined us this summer as we discussed the way we can be superheroes in our day-to-day lives. 

We’d love your feedback on how we can improve Tristar Reads in the future. Would you take a moment to fill out our quick survey? We would appreciate any and all feedback. 


#TristarReadsWithUs

Watch the Tennesseans for Student Success staff read Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean. 

Click here to view the video. 

Inside TNSuccess: September 4

Tennesseans for Student Success welcomes you to Inside TNSuccess.  Read below for important news happening around the state in the education space and ways you can get involved and stay informed. 


TSS Statement on Statewide Education Polling

Tennesseans for Student Success recently released polling results displaying Tennesseans overwhelming support for vocational and alternative post-secondary opportunities for Tennessee students. This data was collected from July 9 – August 5, 2019 with 2000 respondents.

Please see the following statement from Tennesseans for Student Success President and CEO, Adam Lister:

“As Tennessee continues to lead the way for students to obtain long-term success through various post-secondary opportunities, it’s encouraging to see the broad support for policies shown to improve student learning. This data continues to build on the success we’ve seen over the past decade in Tennessee, and I’m hopeful that data like this will help shape how we move forward as a state. Ensuring students are career-ready will pave the way for more opportunities for greater economic stability in adulthood.”

To view the polling data, click here


Mark Your Calendar for Our Tennessee SuccessCard Release

On September 16th, Tennesseans for Student Success will release our third annual Tennessee SuccessCard, which is our version of a report card for each member of the Tennessee General Assembly.  

Tennesseans for Student Success publishes this report to ensure parents, teachers and advocates for high-quality public education have, at their fingertips, a detailed analysis of each legislative session, its impact on public education and an easy-to-understand report on how each member of the Tennessee General Assembly voted on the policies that drive student achievement in the state. Learn more at TNSuccessCard.com.


#KnowYourWhy Featuring Dr. Ferguson

Why did you choose your profession?

From the minute I started school, teachers were my heroes. I do not remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to be a teacher. I was the student who was always helping other students with their homework. Everyone else thought I should be a teacher too. I knew from the start that this was my passion; this is what I wanted to do with my life. In teaching, you can’t rest on your laurels. The playing field is always shifting. To be effective at your craft, you must “adapt and overcome.” 

Where do you draw inspiration from the most?

I love the kids—they inspire me to keep learning; I love the legacy of excellence that Maryville is known for; I love the community—if you host an event, they show up to support and help you. I also love the fact that over 40 of my former students now serve in the Maryville City School System. They are my legacy—and sharing in their growth and accomplishments is the greatest tribute that I could ever receive.

What advice do you have for the generation after you?

Welcome to the greatest profession in the world! You have chosen a job—no, a way of life–where you have the opportunity to change the world—one student at a time! As Henry Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” As you advance in your career, I would like to offer this advice: be a lifelong learner; be open to change; stay active both physically and mentally; find a community of learners to challenge and support you; keep a sense of humor; and, remember your “why.”


Tennessee Legislative Corner 

On Friday, August 23, House members of the 111th General Assembly elected their second speaker of the year during a special session, called in by Governor Lee in June. Cameron Sexton of Crossville officially took over as leader over the House chamber, following the resignation of former Speaker Glen Casada. 


Tristar Reads: Stay True to Who You Are

We’re in the final stretch of Tristar Reads with only ONE WEEK left. 

Today, we are highlighting the most extraordinary superheroes… YOU! Every human being that has ever lived, or will live, is unique. You are truly one-of-a-kind. Since you are so unique, why not celebrate that fact? 

This summer, we are committed to preventing the summer slide and it starts by standing out. Join us as we log our reading hours and sign up for Tristar Reads today! Learn more at tristarreads.com. You’ll be entered for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship! Sign up for our weekly Tristar Reads email today!


Use Your Voice

Do you want to learn more about how to advocate for Tennessee students and get involved in our TSS events? Check out our online advocacy portal here.


In Case You Missed It…

Tennesseans for Student Success Statement on Statewide Education Polling

NASHVILLE – Today, Tennesseans for Student Success released polling results displaying Tennesseans overwhelming support for vocational and alternative post-secondary opportunities for Tennessee students. This data was collected from July 9 – August 5, 2019, with 2000 respondents.

Please see the following statement from Tennesseans for Student Success President and CEO, Adam Lister:

“As Tennessee continues to lead the way for students to obtain long-term success through various post-secondary opportunities, it’s encouraging to see the broad support for policies shown to improve student learning. This data continues to build on the success we’ve seen over the past decade in Tennessee, and I’m hopeful that data like this will help shape how we move forward as a state. Ensuring students are career-ready will pave the way for more opportunities for greater economic stability in adulthood.”

Data highlights:

  • 62 percent of respondents believe that skilled trades and vocational education are a great alternative to college for lifelong success.
  • 82 percent of respondents believe it’s important to hold students and teachers accountable.
  • 65 percent of respondents believe academic standards should be raised.
  • 68 percent of respondents support public school choice.
  • Our data also suggests that Tennesseans, ages 18-35, overwhelmingly prefer college but believe a high school diploma and skilled trade are a viable path to a living wage.

To view the polling data, click here.