Archives: January 2020

TSS Policy Priorities: Why Aligned Assessment Matters

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success is beginning the 2020 legislative session by outlining our policy pillars and how they affect student success. Our five pillars are higher academic standards, an aligned assessment to those standards, protecting accountability, innovation in education, and securing economic freedom for all. 

Why Aligned Assessments Matter: 

A good test serves as an academic check-in confirming our students are on track for success and that our teachers, schools, and districts are supporting their growth. Aligned assessments go hand in hand with high academic standards. We must measure what matters. We advocate for better annual assessments, not more tests, as a critical tool ensuring Tennessee’s classrooms are on the right path to success and that each student receives the support they need to achieve better outcomes.

Mr. Paul Troy, history educator from Hillsboro High School, shares about his experience with students and how aligned assessments, along with high expectations serve students well and prepare them for their future.

Click here to view the video. 

Click here to view Dr. Cornett talk about high academic standards.

To continue the conversation on social media, use the hashtag #TSSPriorities. 

Inside TNSuccess: January 27

TN Legislative Corner

Last week, the members of the House Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Subcommittee became students as they engaged in Simultaneous Multisensory Institute of Language Arts (SMILA) instruction. Teachers from around the state took part in the hands-on approach to this style of teaching and led legislators in the visual, auditory, and tactile pathway to literacy. Legislators learned how to construct a paragraph and learned a new letter of the alphabet, among many other skills. Check out last week’s CTI Subcommittee hearing here.

The Senate and House Education Committees heard two presentations: an update on campus security and the Tennessee Servicemember Opportunity Portal (TN-SOP) by Mike Krause, Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), and information on the Bass Military Scholars Program by Vanderbilt University.

The Tennessee General Assembly is hard at work this year and has introduced numerous bills within the education space. Catch up on bills filed last week here.

For a complete list of education legislation filed by the 111th 2019-2020 General Assembly, click here.Not subscribed to our newsletter and want to be? Add your email today to receive our weekly updates.


National School Counseling Week

February 3-7, 2020 is National School Counseling Week. We want to celebrate the impact and unique contribution of school counselor’s in schools across the state. School counselors are instrumental in assisting students in preparing for college and career, as well as encouraging students in their studies for future success. 

We want to recognize school counselors this week and highlight counselors who have made an instrumental impact in your school community. Please take a moment to nominate a school counselor from your school and let us know why they deserve this recognition. We will choose a winner and celebrate that individual with a small gift. 


Why High Academic Expectations Matter

Tennessee’s students will soon be competing for spots in colleges, for jobs, for placements in technical fields, and for prestigious positions in our Nation’s Armed Forces with students from across the country. We believe academic standards that set clear goals for what students should learn are necessary to prepare students for success in a 21st-century economy. Our students are capable of incredible things and when provided with high quality, rigorous materials and standards, they become more engaged and prepared for the challenges and opportunities as they graduate and earn a post-secondary credential, degree, or enter the workforce.

High expectations matter. Take a moment to let YOUR legislator know why student-centered policies matter to you by sending an email today.


Calendar of Events

January 27-31st – National School Choice Week

January 28th – TSS Legislative Welcome Breakfast for members of the TN General Assembly and their staff

10:30AM: House Higher Education Subcommittee 

12:00PM: House Curriculum, Testing & Innovation Committee

4:30PM: House K-12 Subcommittee

January 29th – 2:30PM: Senate Education Committee

5:00PM: House Education Committee

February 3rd – Governor Bill Lee’s State of the State AddressFebruary 11th – 2020 TSS Day on the Hill


In Case You Missed It…

Inside TNSuccess: January 21

TN Legislative Corner

The 2020 legislative session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly convened at noon on Tuesday, January 14th. Here at TSS, we are passionate about keeping Tennesseans up-to-date on the happenings inside the Capitol and how it impacts student success in the classroom.

Each week, we’ll send pertinent information and updates from the hill, links to live streams of education committee action, and details of bills or amendments that are important for students.

Not subscribed to our newsletter and want to be? Add your email today to receive our weekly updates.


Education Committee Insight

Fast Facts:

  • House Education Committee is chaired by Rep. Mark White (R-83) with 24 members on the committee. House Education has 3 subcommittees: Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation, Higher Education, and K-12. 
  • Senate Education Committee is chaired by Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-26) with 9 members on the committee.  
  • If you missed the House Education Committee’s gaveling in on January 15th, we’ve linked the video stream for you to check it out here. We appreciate Chairman White’s welcoming remarks, beginning with recognizing and appreciating the hard-working teachers across our state. He then set the tone for a productive session where members “work together to put the very best legislation forward that will support our teachers, our schools, but most of all our students,” asking members to “lay aside our politics and do what is best for the students of our state.” At Chairman White’s request, Rep. John DeBerry offered a moving prayer asking that the committee be granted wisdom, courage, and the ability to stay focused on the mission. He asked that each member be “dedicated to a better future for each and every person that we serve.”  
  • The Tennessee General Assembly got right to work this year and introduced numerous bills within the education space. Catch up on bills filed in January here.
  • For a complete list of education legislation filed by the 111th 2019-2020 General Assembly, click here.

Welcome Back Your Elected Officials

It’s critical we let our elected officials know that we care about the decisions they make that impact students and we will be paying attention. Please take a few moments to send a welcome back email introducing yourself as an education advocate and reminding them of the important work they do for students. Our elected officials want to hear from you! 

As our state legislators gather in Nashville this January, let them know you believe that every student in every classroom deserves the best education possible.


#TSSPriorities: Higher Standards

Tennesseans for Student Success is kicking off the 2020 legislative session by outlining our policy pillars and how they affect student success. Our five pillars are higher academic standards, an aligned assessment to those standards, protecting accountability, innovation in education, and securing economic freedom for all. 

Why Higher Standards Matter: 

High academic standards that set clear goals for what students should learn are necessary to prepare students for success in a 21st-century economy. From Kindergarten to graduation, today’s students need a strong foundation and a variety of skills and abilities to be successful in their chosen next steps. Upon graduation, they will enter the workforce, complete a professional certification at a technical school, serve in America’s Armed Forces, or earn a degree from a college or university. Whatever the path, students must be ready to achieve, learn, and grow. High academic expectations in today’s classrooms prepare students to reach their fullest potential and to thrive as they pursue tomorrow’s opportunities for success.

Watch Dr. Rachel P. Cornett, K-5 Academic Interventionist at Brown’s Chapel Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as she highlights how high academic standards taught at every grade-level help ensure Tennessee’s students are able to exceed expectations and continue on the pathway to success.


Calendar of Events

January 21st – 12:00PM: House Education Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Subcommittee

4:30PM: House Education K-12 Subcommittee

January 22nd – 2:30PM: Senate Education Committee

 5:00PM: House Education Committee

January 27-31st – National School Choice Week

January 28th – TSS Legislative Welcome Breakfast for members of the TN General Assembly and their staff

February 11th2020 TSS Day on the Hill


In Case You Missed It…

TSS Launches Policy Priorities Campaign: Higher Standards

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success is kicking off the 2020 legislative session by outlining our policy pillars and how they affect student success. Our five pillars are higher academic standards, an aligned assessment to those standards, protecting accountability, innovation in education, and securing economic freedom for all. 

Why Higher Standards Matter: 

High academic standards that set clear goals for what students should learn are necessary to prepare students for success in a 21st-century economy. From Kindergarten to graduation, today’s students need a strong foundation and a variety of skills and abilities to be successful in their chosen next steps. Upon graduation, they will enter the workforce, complete a professional certification at a technical school, serve in America’s Armed Forces, or earn a degree from a college or university. Whatever the path, students must be ready to achieve, learn, and grow. High academic expectations in today’s classrooms prepare students to reach their fullest potential and to thrive as they pursue tomorrow’s opportunities for success.

Watch Dr. Rachel P. Cornett, K-5 Academic Interventionist at Brown’s Chapel Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as she highlights how high academic standards taught at every grade-level help ensure Tennessee’s students are able to exceed expectations and continue on the pathway to success.  

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Below is an excerpt from Dr. Cornett:

“Hi, my name is Rachel P. Cornett and I have been a public educator for 14 years here in middle Tennessee…

“I’m really excited that in Tennessee we have high standards that are very rigorous. [They are] revised by educators with input from policymakers, parents, and our communities to really form what we expect and want all of our students in Tennessee to know and be able to do.

“When we think of high standards, we have to have aligned assessments to make sure that we’re working towards reaching those goals in Tennessee…

“I’ve worked a lot with the state Department of Education. I’ve done professional development and worked around the state, so I’ve seen educators get excited about the rigor of these standards and what their students are able to do with what they know when they’re pushed and when they have the proper support. It’s exciting, with the aligned assessment, to see their progress.”

Click here to view the video. 

To continue the conversation on social media, use the hashtag #TSSPriorities.