Category: Press Releases

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 to view your local legislator’s grade.

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.

Tennesseans for Student Success Statement on TNReady Results

NASHVILLE – Today, 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.”

VIDEO: TSS Releases ‘Know Your Why’ to Kick Off School Year

NASHVILLE – Today, Tennesseans for Student Success released the following video of 2018-19 Tennessee Teacher of the Year, Melissa Miller, in lieu of the 2019-2020 school year beginning. As an organization, we believe it’s important to celebrate educators and encourage leaders in the community to ‘Know Their Why.’

Here’s Melissa’s why:

“Hi! I am Melissa Miller and I teach first grade at Franklin Elementary School and I’m the Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

“This is my why. My why is to teach students to believe in themselves. My why is to see the invisible in each and every child. My why is to help students see what they can become, to inspire a passion for learning that is absolutely unquenchable.

“My why is to give every child, every chance, every day – to feel and to become successful.

“My why is to be that teacher that they never forget. You never know the reach you have, the touch your words have on a life. No matter what position you are, no matter what you do. Where you’re sitting right now, you are important in the lives of your teammates, of your workmates, of your family, of your friend.

“So I encourage you: write down your ‘why,’ and let that continue to grow as you continue to grow because we’re each really a piece of all of the others of an absolutely beautiful, amazing masterpiece. So write down your why. Do it now. Do it today. And let that keep growing as you keep growing.”

Click here to view the video.