Category: Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: August 19

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.

School is Back in Session

As we head into our third official week of school, teachers must be well-equipped with the information and data needed to teach their classrooms well. Last week, TNReady assessment results from the 2018-2019 school year were released. We are thrilled that teachers are obtaining this data earlier in the school year. The next step is to ensure everyone involved in the classroom is using the results in a way that improves instruction and enhances student learning. We cannot let another school year go by without taking full advantage of the policies and strategies that will help our students succeed. Keep scrolling to see TSS’ full statement on the results.

Additionally, at TSS, we enjoy celebrating students, teachers, schools, administrators and staff. For that reason, we have created a #KnowYourWhy campaign to allow educators, advocates and leaders in the community have a voice to share the ‘why’ behind what they do every day. Check out Melissa Miller, Tennessee Teacher of the Year and first-grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School, as she shares with us the reason she feels compelled and inspired to teach below.

If you have a story you’d like to share, please let us know and we’d love to amplify it across our platforms. 

TSS Statement on TNReady Results

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success President and CEO Adam Lister released the following statement in response to the 2018-2019 TNReady assessment results:

“Tennessee teachers work hard throughout the year to help their students succeed, and by obtaining this data earlier in the school year, teachers will be better able to tailor their instruction and enhance learning, which is both encouraging and vital.

“However, too many students are still falling through the cracks, and it is critically important for elected officials and education leaders in our state to harness a renewed sense of urgency and focus to ensure Tennessee is doing more to ensure every student is prepared for success after high school. Policymakers must remain steadfast in pursing strategies that advance student achievement and challenge school districts to push past the status quo.

“We need to keep moving the needle, so this data should be an impetus for action at the local level to help future generations succeed. I look forward to seeing the growth that’s ahead for all Tennessee students.”

#KnowYourWhy

Tennesseans for Student Success is passionate about educators and advocates alike having purpose in what they do. By knowing the ‘why’ behind what you do, it is easier to be fully invested in your day-to-day. 

Mrs. Miller encourages us to write down our why so that we can continue to grow as individuals and our purpose can continue to grow as well. 

What’s your why? Use the hashtag #KnowYourWhy and tag @tnstudent to let us know on social media. 

Congrats to SCORE!

SCORE, or the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, recently celebrated their 10th anniversary of working towards student achievement in the state of Tennessee. Their dedication and hard work to deliver academic progress from Kindergarten through career does not go unnoticed and is worth celebrating widely. 

Take a moment to read the founder of SCORE, Bill Frist’s, op-ed on SCORE’s past and present endeavors here

Tristar Reads: Summer Will Be Over in a FLASH!

So far this summer, K-12 students across the state of Tennessee have read just under 500,000 minutes by logging their hours on Tristar Reads! 

Tristar Reads is all about preventing the summer slide, but also about having fun in the process. Don’t let the summer flash right before your eyes: enjoy every moment of sunshine, read your favorite books and log your hours at Tristarreads.com.

With THREE WEEKS of Tristar Reads left, don’t let this summer pass you by! If you are or are the parent of a student in grades K-12, you can still sign up for Tristar Reads. 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 make a difference? Check out our online advocacy portal to do just that!

ICYMI…

Inside TNSuccess: August 5

Tennesseans for Student Success is excited to announce that we are rebranding our newsletter to be called Inside TNSuccess. 

Read below for important news happening around the state in the education space and ways you can get involved and stay informed

A Word from Our President, Adam Lister

It is my honor and privilege as President and CEO of Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS), to lead this organization by supporting and championing Tennessee’s students and their futures. As a father of two and husband to an incredible public-school teacher, I feel grateful that I am able to work toward ensuring today’s students are more prepared and have more opportunities for success than those who graduated before them. 

To that end, over the past couple of weeks, TSS has held education advocacy and leadership summits in Knoxville and Nashville for educators, parents and community leaders interested in learning how to best advocate for students in their sphere of influence. Included in our events were lawmakers, former lawmakers, leadership experts and community pioneers who invested their time, wisdom and outlook on the education landscape to better equip others.

Above all else, TSS believes that open, honest and robust conversations about improving public education plays a vital role in driving enhanced student achievement. We are unapologetic about our advocacy for higher academic standards, an assessment aligned with those standards, accountability for everyone involved in the classroom and providing more choice within public education.

As the new school year begins across the state today, we are thrilled that our amazing educators are filling Tennessee’s schools in order to make a difference in the lives of upcoming generations. Tennessee’s future looks very bright, and I look forward to what’s ahead for our students. 

Tennessee Legislative Corner

On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, the Tennessee House Republican Caucus met and nominated current Caucus Chairman Cameron Sexton of Crossville to be the Republican nominee for House Speaker.

Additionally, last Friday, Rep. Casada’s resignation as Tennessee House Speaker became effective. Knoxville Rep. Bill Dunn will take his place in the interim before the Tennessee General Assembly convenes in a special session on August 23. At that time, the House will elect a new speaker, presumably Rep. Sexton.

Tristar Reads: Honoring America’s Superhero Servicemembers

This week with Tristar Reads, we are highlighting the men and women who serve our great nation and allow us to have the freedoms that we enjoy every day. Let’s use our superhero powers to extend gratitude to those who protect this amazing country. 

We’re thankful to live in such an amazing and free country, which is why we’d like to honor Corporal Knight during our reading this week. He serves our nation in the United States Army and the Tennessee Army National Guard. Be sure to watch his special reading of America the Beautiful Together We Stand here. 

Remember: students in grades K-12 are eligible and will be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship! Log your hours with Tristar Reads now. Don’t miss out on important reminders and the weekly Superhero Challenge. 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 make a difference? Check out our online advocacy portal to do just that!

RSVP for our Nashville Teacher Paint Night on August 13th! 
Meet teachers from across Middle TN, create something unique for your classroom or home and learn more about TSS. Regular price is $35, teacher price is $15 (includes light dinner). Sign up here

ICYMI…

New TNReady Vendor, Tristar Reads in its Final Month and More!

Our Education Advocacy and Leadership Summit’s are here! Stay up to date on the latest news with TSS here

It’s the last month to sign up for Tristar Reads if you haven’t yet, there’s still time! Keep reading for more updates and information.


New School Testing Vendor Solidified for Next Two Years

Recently, the Tennessee Department of Education solidified and signed a two-year contract with Pearson, a British-based student testing program worth almost $40 million. This contract began on July 1 and is welcome news for the future of our state’s testing structure and the students taking those tests.

Fun fact: Pearson is the worlds oldest and largest testing company. With two years to ensure the program is running smoothly, Tennessee will be able to renew its contract on a yearly basis through 2024, so Pearson can prove trustworthy before the state extends their agreement any further. 

At Tennesseans for Student Success, we support an aligned high-quality yearly assessment to measure what our students are learning and also highlight areas for improvement and provide professional development opportunities for educators.


Armored for Victory with Tristar Reads!

July is our LAST month of Tristar Reads, so be sure you get in on the action now before it’s too late!

Be sure to watch a special reading of The Bravest Knight with a knight himself here. During the Middle Ages, there were three main types of soldiers: foot soldiers, archers and knights. Knights were heavily armored soldiers who rode on horseback. Being armored for action with a trusted sidekick, knights are superheroes too!

Put on your armor and be a superhero this summer with Tristar Reads. Students in grades K-12 are eligible and will be entered for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship! It’s not too late to sign up! 

Don’t miss out on important reminders and the weekly Superhero Challenge. Sign up for our weekly Tristar Reads email!


Education Advocacy and Leadership Summit

Today, we are kicking off our Education Advocacy and Leadership Summit in Knoxville, Tennessee, and next week we will be holding a summit in Nashville. We have these summits annually as a way to engage with educators, community leaders and parents who want to learn how to be an advocate for students in public education.

TSS provides 6 hours of professional development training and discussions with various organizations like the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), state legislators, thought leaders and professionals in the community. We’re passionate about teaching others student-centered education reform and the history of Tennessee’s education system. If you weren’t able to make it this year, please reach out and we will get you on our list for next year’s summit.


In Case You Missed It…

TSS Staff Updates, New Postsecondary Initiative and More!

We are excited to announce the addition of two new staff members. Also, Knox County is providing students with additional postsecondary supports.  If you haven’t signed up for Tristar Reads yet, there’s still time! Keep reading for more updates and information about some exciting events this summer.


New Staff Added to Promote Greater Student Success

Last week, we announced the addition of two new staff members and an advancement of the Tennesseans for Student Success’ statewide outreach efforts to accelerate and expand the organization’s work in promoting greater student success across Tennessee.

Susan Martin, a former three-term member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, is the Tennesseans for Student Success’ new Director of Government Relations. Former deputy communications director for the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, Lani Short, has joined the organization as its new Communications Director.

In addition to these staff announcements, we are strategically focused on maximizing our grassroots and outreach efforts within the state through a more focused engagement on our field team to have maximum impact on student outcomes and success. 

Click here to read more.

Be a Superhero With Your Words

Superheroes are often known by not only the capes they wear, but the positive words they share with others. Many superheroes are recognized by their voices or slogans. It’s important that when we use our voices, we use our superhero powers to speak encouraging and impactful words to others. Students at Doak Elementary School use their superhero powers to read every day. Watch his special reading of Fly Guy’s Big Family now!

Make your words count this summer and log your hours with Tristar Reads. Students in grades K-12 are eligible and will be entered for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship! It’s not too late to sign up! 

Don’t miss out on important reminders and the weekly Superhero Challenge. Sign up for our weekly Tristar Reads email!

Sign Up for More Info!


New Postsecondary Initiative to Boost Student Success

On behalf of the Haslam Family Foundation, Jim Haslam, together with several partnering organizations, announced a special investment of $6.2 million over three years to support a new postsecondary initiative, Knox Promise

Knox Promise is a new community-based, comprehensive approach to help more Tennessee Promise students in Knox County graduate from college by providing additional financial support and coaching. 

At Tennesseans for Student Success, we applaud the efforts of K-12 and postsecondary organizations for coming together to boost economic prosperity and success for all of Tennessee’s students. 


Get Involved!

RSVP for Our Education Advocacy and Leadership Summits!

Do you want to learn how to be an advocate for Tennessee’s Students? Click below for more details and to register for one of our TWO FREE Summits this month. Spots are filling up fast so RSVP now!

July 15th in Knoxville
July 22nd in Nashville