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Inside TNSuccess: January 27

TN Legislative Corner

Last week, the members of the House Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Subcommittee became students as they engaged in Simultaneous Multisensory Institute of Language Arts (SMILA) instruction. Teachers from around the state took part in the hands-on approach to this style of teaching and led legislators in the visual, auditory, and tactile pathway to literacy. Legislators learned how to construct a paragraph and learned a new letter of the alphabet, among many other skills. Check out last week’s CTI Subcommittee hearing here.

The Senate and House Education Committees heard two presentations: an update on campus security and the Tennessee Servicemember Opportunity Portal (TN-SOP) by Mike Krause, Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), and information on the Bass Military Scholars Program by Vanderbilt University.

The Tennessee General Assembly is hard at work this year and has introduced numerous bills within the education space. Catch up on bills filed last week here.

For a complete list of education legislation filed by the 111th 2019-2020 General Assembly, click here.Not subscribed to our newsletter and want to be? Add your email today to receive our weekly updates.


National School Counseling Week

February 3-7, 2020 is National School Counseling Week. We want to celebrate the impact and unique contribution of school counselor’s in schools across the state. School counselors are instrumental in assisting students in preparing for college and career, as well as encouraging students in their studies for future success. 

We want to recognize school counselors this week and highlight counselors who have made an instrumental impact in your school community. Please take a moment to nominate a school counselor from your school and let us know why they deserve this recognition. We will choose a winner and celebrate that individual with a small gift. 


Why High Academic Expectations Matter

Tennessee’s students will soon be competing for spots in colleges, for jobs, for placements in technical fields, and for prestigious positions in our Nation’s Armed Forces with students from across the country. We believe academic standards that set clear goals for what students should learn are necessary to prepare students for success in a 21st-century economy. Our students are capable of incredible things and when provided with high quality, rigorous materials and standards, they become more engaged and prepared for the challenges and opportunities as they graduate and earn a post-secondary credential, degree, or enter the workforce.

High expectations matter. Take a moment to let YOUR legislator know why student-centered policies matter to you by sending an email today.


Calendar of Events

January 27-31st – National School Choice Week

January 28th – TSS Legislative Welcome Breakfast for members of the TN General Assembly and their staff

10:30AM: House Higher Education Subcommittee 

12:00PM: House Curriculum, Testing & Innovation Committee

4:30PM: House K-12 Subcommittee

January 29th – 2:30PM: Senate Education Committee

5:00PM: House Education Committee

February 3rd – Governor Bill Lee’s State of the State AddressFebruary 11th – 2020 TSS Day on the Hill


In Case You Missed It…

Inside TNSuccess: January 21

TN Legislative Corner

The 2020 legislative session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly convened at noon on Tuesday, January 14th. Here at TSS, we are passionate about keeping Tennesseans up-to-date on the happenings inside the Capitol and how it impacts student success in the classroom.

Each week, we’ll send pertinent information and updates from the hill, links to live streams of education committee action, and details of bills or amendments that are important for students.

Not subscribed to our newsletter and want to be? Add your email today to receive our weekly updates.


Education Committee Insight

Fast Facts:

  • House Education Committee is chaired by Rep. Mark White (R-83) with 24 members on the committee. House Education has 3 subcommittees: Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation, Higher Education, and K-12. 
  • Senate Education Committee is chaired by Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-26) with 9 members on the committee.  
  • If you missed the House Education Committee’s gaveling in on January 15th, we’ve linked the video stream for you to check it out here. We appreciate Chairman White’s welcoming remarks, beginning with recognizing and appreciating the hard-working teachers across our state. He then set the tone for a productive session where members “work together to put the very best legislation forward that will support our teachers, our schools, but most of all our students,” asking members to “lay aside our politics and do what is best for the students of our state.” At Chairman White’s request, Rep. John DeBerry offered a moving prayer asking that the committee be granted wisdom, courage, and the ability to stay focused on the mission. He asked that each member be “dedicated to a better future for each and every person that we serve.”  
  • The Tennessee General Assembly got right to work this year and introduced numerous bills within the education space. Catch up on bills filed in January here.
  • For a complete list of education legislation filed by the 111th 2019-2020 General Assembly, click here.

Welcome Back Your Elected Officials

It’s critical we let our elected officials know that we care about the decisions they make that impact students and we will be paying attention. Please take a few moments to send a welcome back email introducing yourself as an education advocate and reminding them of the important work they do for students. Our elected officials want to hear from you! 

As our state legislators gather in Nashville this January, let them know you believe that every student in every classroom deserves the best education possible.


#TSSPriorities: Higher Standards

Tennesseans for Student Success is kicking off the 2020 legislative session by outlining our policy pillars and how they affect student success. Our five pillars are higher academic standards, an aligned assessment to those standards, protecting accountability, innovation in education, and securing economic freedom for all. 

Why Higher Standards Matter: 

High academic standards that set clear goals for what students should learn are necessary to prepare students for success in a 21st-century economy. From Kindergarten to graduation, today’s students need a strong foundation and a variety of skills and abilities to be successful in their chosen next steps. Upon graduation, they will enter the workforce, complete a professional certification at a technical school, serve in America’s Armed Forces, or earn a degree from a college or university. Whatever the path, students must be ready to achieve, learn, and grow. High academic expectations in today’s classrooms prepare students to reach their fullest potential and to thrive as they pursue tomorrow’s opportunities for success.

Watch Dr. Rachel P. Cornett, K-5 Academic Interventionist at Brown’s Chapel Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as she highlights how high academic standards taught at every grade-level help ensure Tennessee’s students are able to exceed expectations and continue on the pathway to success.


Calendar of Events

January 21st – 12:00PM: House Education Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Subcommittee

4:30PM: House Education K-12 Subcommittee

January 22nd – 2:30PM: Senate Education Committee

 5:00PM: House Education Committee

January 27-31st – National School Choice Week

January 28th – TSS Legislative Welcome Breakfast for members of the TN General Assembly and their staff

February 11th2020 TSS Day on the Hill


In Case You Missed It…

TSS Launches Policy Priorities Campaign: Higher Standards

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success is kicking off the 2020 legislative session by outlining our policy pillars and how they affect student success. Our five pillars are higher academic standards, an aligned assessment to those standards, protecting accountability, innovation in education, and securing economic freedom for all. 

Why Higher Standards Matter: 

High academic standards that set clear goals for what students should learn are necessary to prepare students for success in a 21st-century economy. From Kindergarten to graduation, today’s students need a strong foundation and a variety of skills and abilities to be successful in their chosen next steps. Upon graduation, they will enter the workforce, complete a professional certification at a technical school, serve in America’s Armed Forces, or earn a degree from a college or university. Whatever the path, students must be ready to achieve, learn, and grow. High academic expectations in today’s classrooms prepare students to reach their fullest potential and to thrive as they pursue tomorrow’s opportunities for success.

Watch Dr. Rachel P. Cornett, K-5 Academic Interventionist at Brown’s Chapel Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as she highlights how high academic standards taught at every grade-level help ensure Tennessee’s students are able to exceed expectations and continue on the pathway to success.  

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Below is an excerpt from Dr. Cornett:

“Hi, my name is Rachel P. Cornett and I have been a public educator for 14 years here in middle Tennessee…

“I’m really excited that in Tennessee we have high standards that are very rigorous. [They are] revised by educators with input from policymakers, parents, and our communities to really form what we expect and want all of our students in Tennessee to know and be able to do.

“When we think of high standards, we have to have aligned assessments to make sure that we’re working towards reaching those goals in Tennessee…

“I’ve worked a lot with the state Department of Education. I’ve done professional development and worked around the state, so I’ve seen educators get excited about the rigor of these standards and what their students are able to do with what they know when they’re pushed and when they have the proper support. It’s exciting, with the aligned assessment, to see their progress.”

Click here to view the video. 

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

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…

Inside TNSuccess: January 13

TN Legislative Session is Underway

2020 is officially in full swing with the 111th Tennessee General Assembly gaveling in tomorrow January 14th. 

It’s critical that our current elected officials keep up the work for student success. To share with them the great things happening in Tennessee’s classrooms, we’re excited to host our annual Tennesseans for Student Success Day on the Hill. We’ll provide training sessions, meetings with elected officials, and a chance for you to use your voice for all involved in the classroom. Here’s a link to more information and to register for the February 11th event. We’d love to have you join us!

Can’t make our Day on the Hill? Be a part of Tennesseans across the state raising their voice for students. We’ve created an easy way for you to contact your elected officials. Take a look around our new site for advocacy and policy engagement, get signed up, and share your support of high standards, fewer, but better tests, innovation in education, and accountability for everyone involved in the classroom with your elected official today.


Show Your Support for Accountability

It’s important that we are diligent to ensure every child has exactly what they need for success now and in the future. One way this is possible is through supporting strong accountability. Accountability is two-fold: teachers and students having access to the tools they need for success.

Will you join the fight to help protect accountability in the classroom?

As our state legislators gather in Nashville this January (tomorrow to be exact!), let them know you believe that every student in every classroom deserves the best education possible.


SCORE’s Report on College and Career Opportunity

Ensuring students are college and career ready is one of Tennessee’s premier goals so the workforce can flourish and be positively impacted. Currently, only 42.7 percent of residents have a post-secondary credential or degree with the reality that by 2015, 55 percent of jobs will require post-secondary training.

SCORE, State Collaborative on Reforming Education, recognizes this scope and has created a report around these findings. Check out their Advising Students Towards Opportunity report as it analyzes the challenges and steps forward our state is making to bridge the gap.

View the full SCORE report here


Gov. Lee Visits Cleveland High School’s CTE Program

Last week, Governor Bill Lee toured Cleveland High School, one of the leading high schools in career and technical education programs in the state. With 63 different hands-on programs, students at Cleveland High have many opportunities to earn specific certificates and credentials. Examples of programs offered are aviation, health science, engineering, and automotive technology – just to name a few. 

Learn more about these programs and Gov. Lee’s visit here


In Case You Missed It…