Archives: October 2019

Tennesseans for Student Success Statement on the NAEP Results

NASHVILLE – Today, Tennesseans for Student Success President and CEO Adam Lister released the following statement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results:

“Over the last ten years, Tennessee students have made dramatic improvements as a result of a commitment to implementing student-focused policies. Released today, our Nation’s Report Card found that many states regressed, while Tennessee’s students slightly progressed in some areas.

“That said, there is still much work to be done to ensure all students are receiving the best possible public education. This data reinforces our belief that policy makers must commit to an aggressive and bold agenda, which dramatically and more quickly improves student outcomes for all Tennessee kids. It’s important that we commend the progress Tennessee has made, thank our teachers for their hard work, and commit to the strategies that will dramatically drive student achievement forward.”

Tennesseans for Student Success Announces Tristar Reads Scholarship Winners

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success, together with Tristar Reads, announces the winners of their 2019 summer reading challenge. Awarding college scholarships, Tristar Reads encourages Tennessee’s students to be lifelong readers and learners.

“894 students logged over 500,000 minutes reading books this summer,” said Tennesseans for Student Success President and CEO Adam Lister. “When we launched this program, our goal was to keep Tennessee’s students reading and mitigate the summer slide. From our recent 2019 TNReady results, we know there is a continued need to emphasize literacy at every grade level and in every classroom – especially elementary and middle school students. Programs like Tristar Reads are one of the tools to incentivize reading throughout the year, and we are proud to have a hand in student growth.”

Tristar Reads is proud to award $1,000 college scholarships to the following outstanding Tennessee readers:

Elementary School Division – Tallen Haag, 3rd Grade, Robertson County, read 28,286 minutes
Middle School Division – Sarah Collier, 7th Grade, Cheatham County, read 22,955 minutes
High School Division – Lauren Linden, 12th Grade, Hancock County, read 10,012 minutes

Lister continued: “A commitment to reading is a commitment to success not just in the classroom, but in life. When students, teachers, parents, and communities embrace the benefits of reading, anything is possible. We are encouraged by the continued interest and growth not just in our three college scholarships, but in keeping literacy skills sharp all year long.”

Running from May 1st – September 7th, Tristar Reads was birthed out of the goal to keep Tennessee’s students reading during the summer months. When students read 20 minutes a day during their summer vacations, they are more likely to return to school ready for success in their next grade. In its fourth year, almost 900 students logged their reading time, reading over 500,000 minutes this summer, and participating in the summer reading challenge. For more information on how to participate next year, please visit

Inside TNSuccess: October 28

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. 

Congrats to our Tristar Reads Elementary Division Winner, Tallen Haag from Portland, TN

TSS recently recognized our 2019 Tristar Reads Elementary division winner from the Portland area at the Portland Public Library where she was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for her future education. This summer, Tallen read 471.4 hours, the most ever read in our program to date, from May 1 – September 7.

During the program at the Portland Public Library, Youth Services Director, Linda Ackerman gave a brief talk on the importance of reading from an early age and how it helps improve student success. Additionally, Rep. William Lamberth joined the program and read Oh the Places You Will Go to the children that attended the program. 

To read more about the presentation, click here

To learn more about our annual Tristar Reads program, click here

Survey Says…

Public education isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Do you champion innovation in education so that students can be free to innovate, adapt, and flourish in the classroom and beyond? Let us know!

TDOE School Turnaround Listening Tour

Have you heard? The Tennessee Department of Education is holding a School Turnaround Listening tour this month in Shelby County, Davidson County, Hamilton County, and Jackson-Madison County. The purpose of this tour is to offer a voice to the community where the majority of Priority schools are located in Tennessee. The Department will solicit feedback, listen to stakeholders, parents, education partners, and engaged citizens who want to take a closer look at solutions to help student improvement and growth. Take a look at the schedule below: 

Monday, October 28th – Hamilton County, Brainerd High School

Tuesday, October 29th – Davidson County, American Red Cross

Wednesday, October 30th – Jackson-Madison County, Liberty Technology Magnet High School

Monday, November 4th – Davidson County, American Red Cross

To see the full schedule and further details from TDOE, click here.

In Case You Missed It…

Inside TNSuccess: October 14

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. 

#KnowYourWhy with LEAD Southeast Principal, Mrs. Wilkins

October is National Principals Month and Tennesseans for Student Success sat down with Amy Kate Wilkins, Principal at LEAD Southeast High School, a public charter school within the LEAD public schools’ network with six schools serving 2,700 students in the Nashville area.

As an organization, we believe it’s important to celebrate educators and encourage leaders in the community to ‘Know Their Why.’ Do you know someone that would want to share their “why”? Let us know and we’d love to amplify their story!

Click here to learn more about Mrs. Wilkins, what she loves the most about what she does, and why she does it.

Calling All School Front Office Staff

At Tennesseans for Student Success, we love to celebrate the people that help make your school run smoothly. In November, we want to honor the exceptional front office staff in your school with a gift for your school staff and allowing them to share their stories through our #KnowYourWhy campaign. 

Please take a moment to nominate your front office staff here and let us know why they deserve this nomination. We can’t wait to celebrate your people! 

House District 77 Polling Numbers 

As a part of our statewide voter research polling, TSS is highlighting key voter perceptions on education reform policies. The following data is representative of House District 77 and tracks with statewide results.

Click here to view the data. 

SCORE Releases Survey Reinforcing the Importance of Post-Secondary Education

SCORE, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, recently released a survey reinforcing what we know to be critical for Tennessee students: earning a post-secondary education or credential is vital for success beyond high school.

Additionally, their data found that nearly eight out of ten of those surveyed supported increased school accountability which backs the findings we gathered this summer. Our data found that 82 percent of Tennesseans believe it’s important to hold schools and teachers accountable. 

To read more about this poll and its results, click here