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Weekly Update – December 11, 2017

It’s a mix. An equation. A balance of the right policies, priorities, and people in place to make certain every student in Tennessee has an opportunity to succeed.

You might have seen this map on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. It’s from the Stanford Education Data Archive, and it shows the average achievement growth in school districts across the country. In no surprise, Tennessee is a bright spot of success. This map is another indicator that our classrooms are on the right track for success.

Because we are on the right track, there’s an even greater need to make sure we keep working for student success. Whether that’s continuing to push for student-centered reforms in the General Assembly, supporting current policies that lead to student success, informing Tennessee’s voters of the issues that could roll back Tennessee’s historic gains, or encouraging all those who have a place in our classrooms to support elected officials who champion success, we can’t let up now.

The Second Session of the 110th General Assembly is right around the corner. As we prepare for another legislative session, we would love to have you partner with us. You can follow us on social media, help spread the message of student success to your networks, or drop us a note to come to Nashville to visit your elected officials. We appreciate all you do for Tennessee’s students.

Stay tuned.

Happy Thanksgiving
This Thanksgiving, we’re especially thankful for…
10. The Tennesseans for Student Success family grew this year to welcome Operations Manager, Brooke Gray.
9. Our second full summer for Tristar Reads was a smashing success. Participation in the program more than quadrupled, and our students read over 140,000 minutes this summer. We were thrilled to award three $1,000 college scholarships to our top readers. And we got to meet a binturong.
8. As our Legislative Scorecard shows, the second first session of the 110th General Assembly continued to support the policies and priorities that support student success.
7. We celebrated these reward schools who support, promote, and encourage student success every day.
6. 79% of our students have mastered, are on track, or are approaching where they need to be in English Language Arts. In math, 74%.
5. Our Facebook feeds are full of these great pictures of kindergarteners hiding turkeys.
4.  With Tennessee-specific academic standards, and an assessment fully aligned to those standards, Tennessee’s parents, educators, students now have an accurate look at where we are and how we can get to where we need to be.
3. There’s a strong accountability system in place to make sure everyone – you, me, elected officials, teachers, community leaders, administrators, parents, students – everyone involved in the classroom is accountable for student success.
2. Tennessee’s public schools aren’t one-size-fits-all. When there are more choices in public education, more students succeed.
1. You. We’ve said it over and over again; we couldn’t do this work without you.
Whether you’ve called a legislator, joined us to advocate in the General Assembly, invited an educator to share their teacher voice, promoted our social media feeds, or became a Tristar Reader, you’ve helped create an opportunity for every student in Tennessee to obtain success.
From the Tennesseans for Student Success family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Weekly Update – November 13, 2017

Last week we looked at why we champion accountability for everyone involved in the classroom.

It’s good that whether you are a teacher, student, parent, administrator, or elected official, you are accountable for student success. This week, we’re taking a look at why we fight for rigorous, Tennessee-specific standards and why those standards are a key to student success inside and outside our classrooms.

When students master the academic standards Tennessee’s educators, community leaders, and elected officials created for them, we know they are ready for success. For instance, when students are offered challenging Early Post Secondary Opportunities (EPSOs) and master them, we know they are more likely to excel in their college careers. When we raise the bar for success, we challenge our students to dig more deeply into what they are learning in our classrooms.

Tennessee has twice been named the fastest improving state in the nation in education – we celebrate these historic accomplishments! There is still work to be done so that every student, in every classroom is prepared for success. Rigorous academic standards are a key part of the work to continue moving Tennessee’s students forward.

Because we know our students can compete for college, jobs, and military service with students across the country; Because we know that Tennessee-specific standards help make certain Tennessee’s students are ready; Because we know high expectations make every difference in the lives of every student in Tennessee;

We advocate for rigorous, Tennessee-specific academic standards for every Tennessee student. Thank you for joining us in that work and helping make sure every student in Tennessee has an opportunity to succeed.