Category: Inside TNSuccess

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…

Inside TNSuccess: January 13

TN Legislative Session is Underway

2020 is officially in full swing with the 111th Tennessee General Assembly gaveling in tomorrow January 14th. 

It’s critical that our current elected officials keep up the work for student success. To share with them the great things happening in Tennessee’s classrooms, we’re excited to host our annual Tennesseans for Student Success Day on the Hill. We’ll provide training sessions, meetings with elected officials, and a chance for you to use your voice for all involved in the classroom. Here’s a link to more information and to register for the February 11th event. We’d love to have you join us!

Can’t make our Day on the Hill? Be a part of Tennesseans across the state raising their voice for students. We’ve created an easy way for you to contact your elected officials. Take a look around our new site for advocacy and policy engagement, get signed up, and share your support of high standards, fewer, but better tests, innovation in education, and accountability for everyone involved in the classroom with your elected official today.


Show Your Support for Accountability

It’s important that we are diligent to ensure every child has exactly what they need for success now and in the future. One way this is possible is through supporting strong accountability. Accountability is two-fold: teachers and students having access to the tools they need for success.

Will you join the fight to help protect accountability in the classroom?

As our state legislators gather in Nashville this January (tomorrow to be exact!), let them know you believe that every student in every classroom deserves the best education possible.


SCORE’s Report on College and Career Opportunity

Ensuring students are college and career ready is one of Tennessee’s premier goals so the workforce can flourish and be positively impacted. Currently, only 42.7 percent of residents have a post-secondary credential or degree with the reality that by 2015, 55 percent of jobs will require post-secondary training.

SCORE, State Collaborative on Reforming Education, recognizes this scope and has created a report around these findings. Check out their Advising Students Towards Opportunity report as it analyzes the challenges and steps forward our state is making to bridge the gap.

View the full SCORE report here


Gov. Lee Visits Cleveland High School’s CTE Program

Last week, Governor Bill Lee toured Cleveland High School, one of the leading high schools in career and technical education programs in the state. With 63 different hands-on programs, students at Cleveland High have many opportunities to earn specific certificates and credentials. Examples of programs offered are aviation, health science, engineering, and automotive technology – just to name a few. 

Learn more about these programs and Gov. Lee’s visit here


In Case You Missed It…

Inside TNSuccess: December 23

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s important to reflect on the past year (and decade!) as we prepare for 2020. It’s critical to begin each year with a positive mindset as we set goals, raise expectations, and gear up for what’s ahead. Here at TSS, we are thankful for the successful 2019 we had and anticipatory for what’s on the horizon. With the legislative session ringing in the New Year, we’re excited to welcome members back to Nashville as we work to champion better student outcomes for all children in Tennessee. 

We hope you enjoy the rest of December with the ones you love and are prepared for the remarkable year that’s ahead. Merry Christmas to you from Team TSS! 


#KnowYourWhy with Mr. Frey

TSS recently released the final video in our #KnowYourWhy series. This month, we featured Mr. Sam Frey, Assistant Principal of Henry C. Maxwell Elementary School in Antioch, Tennessee. Mr. Frey shares his story of why he became an educator and how he has remained motivated throughout the years.

In the video, Mr. Frey chronicles how his high school counselor paid for him to take the ACT test and encouraged him to go to college away from home, where he excelled as an inner-city educator for fifteen years. His passion for students and their growth is evident through his story.

As an organization, we believe it’s important to celebrate educators and encourage leaders in the community to ‘Know Their Why.’

Click here to view the video. 


Tennesseans for Student Success Action Center

Team TSS is excited to announce our new and improved action center as a new way for you to get involved with our advocacy efforts. Through our action center, you are able to look up your legislator, sign petitions, and email your local legislator during the 2020 legislative session about issues you’re passionate about.

Sign up for TSS Action Network Alerts to stay up-to-date on issues affecting Tennessee’s students. We will send you only the most urgent issues seeking your input on how these policies impact students and how to raise your voice for student improvement. It’s critical we ensure Tennessee’s students have the best opportunity for college and career. Sign up today!


TennesseeCAN Releases 2019 Tennessee Policy Report Card

Recently, TennesseeCAN released their 2019 Policy Report Card, which scores the state on 26 different education policy areas as a way to measure the state’s efforts on improving student outcomes. This report focuses on policy issues in Tennessee around excellence, equity, choice, and transparency. Check out what TennesseeCAN has to say about how our state has been successful and how it can improve.

Read the full report here


In Case You Missed It…