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Weekly Update – October 9, 2017

Don’t be discouraged – our students, teachers, parents, and all those involved in Team Classroom are on the right path.

Last week, the Department of Education released the 2017 TNReady results. If you’ve been a Tennessean for Student Success for the last few years, you’ve heard us say this would be a baseline year. This year – with the assessment aligned to our new, rigorous academic standards – would be the first year we measured what our students actually knew and where they were on the pathway to success.

We wanted to share with you the statement we put out last week:

“Today’s TNReady results highlight the work ahead for all those involved in Team Classroom.

“The good news – 79% of our students have mastered, are on track, or are approaching where they need to be in English Language Arts. In math, 74%. In both categories, the largest student segments are in the third of four achievement levels: approaching. These achievement levels give teachers, parents, and students a stronger understanding of where additional help is needed and which students are gaining ground. With the information coming from today’s TNReady results, and the district-level results in weeks to come, all those involved in the classroom will have a clearer picture of which standards our students are mastering and where every student needs additional support for success.

“In this baseline year, we value data that gives an accurate and honest look at where our students truly are in the trajectory for success. While TNReady scores cannot be compared to previous TCAP assessment data, everyone should be concerned that 21.5% and nearly 26% of our students are below course expectations in English Language Arts and math. While we are confident our students will show growth from this baseline, ensuring every child in the state has an opportunity to succeed will require hard work and continued commitment to the policies that have been driving student success in Tennessee over the last few years.

“As we look at the results from grades 3-8, we are mindful of this moment in the history of education in Tennessee. Ten years ago, the state received an “F” in preparing students for life after graduation. Gone, now, are the days when students are declared ‘ready’ or ‘proficient’ with no data to prove that claim, leaving scores of students woefully unprepared for life outside the classroom.

“We are confident we are on the right track. It is the job of everyone involved in Tennessee’s classrooms to work and ensure every student is ready for success. Through rigorous academic standards and an assessment aligned to those standards, we can be certain every Tennessee student is on a pathway for opportunity.”

There’s work to be done, certainly, but this isn’t a moment to change direction. We are confident the next several years will show growth in student mastery as we continue to use this data to help make sure every student in Tennessee is prepared for success after graduation.

Summer Update – July 10, 2017

We are midway through Tristar Reads and we wanted to take a few minutes today to celebrate with you. We’ve signed up almost 300 Tennessee students who are committed to reading 20 minutes a day this summer!

When Tristar Reads began last year, we set out to help stop the summer slide – those months where our students stopped reading and when returning to school in August, had fallen behind their previous reading levels. We heard from teachers and knew if we encouraged students to keep reading over the summer, we could keep some of that slide from happening.

Thank you for being a part of that good work. By helping promote Tristar Reads, signing up your own K-12 readers, sharing the program on your social media feeds, or inviting us to share with your community groups, you are helping Tennessee’s students be ready for success this fall.

We aren’t finished! There are still two months left for Tristar Reads and we want to sign up as many readers as we can. Here’s a quick look at the details: any incoming or outgoing K-12 reader is eligible, readers (or their adult readers) need to sign them up at TristarReads.com, and readers need to log the time they’ve read this summer at TristarReads.com at least once before September 7th. We look forward to awarding three $1,000 college scholarships to our top three readers (one in K-5th, one in 6-8th, and one in 9-12th grades) at the conclusion of Tristar Reads.

Want more information? Drop us a note and make sure you’re following our Tristar Reads pages on social media.

Thanks for your help in making sure every Tennessee student is a Tristar Reader.