Category: Press Releases

TSS Policy Priorities: Why Economic Opportunity Matters

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success began the 2020 legislative session by outlining our policy pillars and how they affect student success. This is the last installment of our #TSSPolicyPriorities campaign. If you missed any, catch up on our legislative policies here.

Why Economic Opportunity Matters: 

Earning a high school diploma is a remarkable achievement, but it should not represent the end of a journey. As our local economies continue to evolve, it is increasingly important to improve alignment among student instruction, teacher preparation, and the various opportunities for students to achieve economic independence after high school.

To honor our promise to provide today’s students with an opportunity for success in the future, we must ensure all Tennesseans are prepared for, can access, and complete a post-secondary credential or degree. Today, more than ever, Tennessee’s students have an opportunity to transition from high school to college or career seamlessly, and we are passionate about supporting various pathways and seeing the transition be as smooth as possible.

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Below is an excerpt from Dan Caldwell:

National Skills Coalition has done some research and they tell us that 53% of the nation’s jobs require middle skills. Now those middle skills are something beyond high school but less than a four-year degree. So 53% of the nation’s jobs require it, but only 43% of Americans have those skills, so there’s quite a gap. Nissan recognizes that gap and we have partnered with Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) here in Smyrna, Tennessee, in a public, private partnership. We are co-located under one roof whereas, the TCAT trains anyone from the community in five different programs of study. And on the Nissan-side, my training staff, we continue to upskill and develop our own employees who come to us at various times in their career to brush up on robotics, engineering, leadership, Microsoft Office, any kind of training that they need to be successful in their roles. On the TCAT side… all of the programs of study lead to a high-demand, high-wage industries.”

Click here to watch Dan Caldwell talk about the opportunity students have to gain skills and pursue economic independence, specifically through the partnership between Nissan and TCAT Smyrna.

Please click here to take our Issue Survey to share your thoughts on economic opportunity and other policy areas affecting students in our state.

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

TSS Release on Ongoing Statewide Education Polling on Accountability

NASHVILLE – Since 2017, Tennesseans for Student Success has talked with more than 150,000 individual Tennesseans as part of its ongoing voter outreach and advocacy to support the policies that are improving public education for the state’s one million students. Repeatedly, Tennesseans across all geographic, demographic, and political lines, say the strategies that improve outcomes should be a top priority for Tennessee’s teachers, students, and the General Assembly. Not only must Tennessee’s elected officials keep their foot on the pedal to improve student outcomes, but they must also commit to protecting policies essential to student success, like transparency and accountability. Our multi-year polling project reinforces what we already know to be true: Accountability is widely supported on all sides and should continue to be strengthened. Our polling data clearly shows that Tennesseans support strong school accountability measures, as well as the A-F letter grade rating system.

Please see the following statement from Tennesseans for Student Success President and CEO, Adam Lister on bolstering accountability measures:

“Tennessee has led the nation in student achievement gains because of our focus on implementing high standards and maintaining accountability, but we know we need to do more, faster. Students must leave high school fully equipped for college and career. An easy-to-understand measure of how schools are meeting the needs of their students will provide valuable insight to everyone involved in student success. Through greater transparency and honest reporting, we can target supports for underserved students and schools, ensuring every student has the opportunity to attend a public school with high-quality educational opportunities and instruction. That way, every child in the state of Tennessee, no matter their zip code, is on track for success.”

Data highlights:

  • 80 percent of respondents believe it is important to hold schools and teachers accountable.
  • 63 percent of respondents are supportive of an A-F letter grade rating system of a school’s performance.

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TSS Policy Priorities: Why Innovating in Education Matters

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success is beginning the 2020 legislative session by outlining our policy pillars and how they affect student success. Read about our pillars here.  

Why Innovation in Education Matters: 

Every student in Tennessee, no matter their zip code, deserves to learn in a top-notch Tennessee public school that meets their individual needs and prepares them for their future.

When educators and leaders are free to provide educational opportunities that meet the needs of their students and their region of the state, the results can be extraordinary. The opportunity to be innovative should be welcomed in all Tennessee public schools.

Public education isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to student success. Many students, teachers, and classrooms flourish in traditional public-school settings. For most students across Tennessee, the best option for a high-quality public education can be found at their neighborhood schools. No matter how or where a student learns, Tennessee’s public schools must be able to adopt the best practices for student learning and provide innovative opportunities to ensure success for each student.

Ms. Brittany Middlebrooks, an assistant principal from KIPP Academy Nashville, shares with us about the innovative and student-centered approach their school takes within their math curriculum. This approach helps elevate student thinking so they are able to build on the skills they’ve already learned to expand their knowledge base.

Click here to watch Ms. Middlebrooks talk about the innovative things KIPP Nashville is doing.

Please click here to take our Issue Survey to share your thoughts on innovation and other policy areas affecting students in our state.

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

TSS Policy Priorities: Why Protecting Accountability Matters

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success is beginning the 2020 legislative session by outlining our policy pillars and how they affect student success. Read about our pillars here.

Why Protecting Accountability Matters: 

For students to succeed, there must be accountability for everyone involved in the classroom. From legislators to administrators, teachers and students, parents and, community volunteers, everyone has some responsibility for and contributes to the success, growth, and achievement of Tennessee’s students.

How do we hold everyone accountable? We measure success. Whether it’s student assessments, district report cards, teacher evaluations, or scorecards for legislators, we measure what we want to improve. Then we report those measures accurately and transparently, ensuring the tools for growth are available, and the focus remains on improving outcomes for students.

Mrs. Tameka Marshall, a third-grade teacher from Norman Binkley Elementary School, shares about the impact accountability has on the measurements and metrics used to capture growth among her students. Do you support good accountability systems in your schools? Let us know here.

Click here to watch the video.

Click here to watch Mr. Troy talk about aligned assessments.

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