The Latest

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.

###

Inside TNSuccess: March 2

TN Legislative Corner

This week was a busy one at the Capitol, with many bills being brought up in the House and Senate Education committees.

In particular, the Tennessee General Assembly and Governor Lee partnered to introduce a key bill that will help meet an urgent need to tackle the literacy crisis in our state. According to the TDOE in 2018, only 32.8 percent of students across grade levels met expectations in English Language Arts (ELA). That’s why it’s imperative that we address this issue head-on with comprehensive legislation that provides students with the necessary instruction and high-quality material to improve student success.

HB 2229/SB 2160 is a key piece of legislation that will help bridge the gap in students learning of reading. It is currently in CTI Subcommittee. Please send an email to your legislators urging them to support this bill and Governor Lee’s historic investment in early literacy!

Track progress on other education bills last week here.

For a complete list of education legislation filed by the 111th 2019-2020 General Assembly, click here.


#TSSPriorities on Innovation in Education

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. We should welcome innovation in Tennessee public schools, especially when it helps students.

Watch Ms. Brittany Middlebrooks, an assistant principal from KIPP Academy Nashville, as she shares with us the innovative and student-centered approach their school takes within their math curriculum.


#CTEMonth with Dan Caldwell

It’s critical that communities work together to assist students who are pursuing a degree or certificate, step into the career or job that will help them thrive.

Career and technical education is important because it allows students to pursue an area of expertise that may not be found in a conventional general education classroom.

While exploring the incredible partnerships our state has to offer, TSS came across a remarkable collaboration between Nissan Group of North America and TCAT Smyrna.

Read our blog and watch Dan Caldwell, Senior Manager of Learning Pathways at Nissan, as he talks about one of the numerous ways their organization partners with the community to create additional possibilities for teachers and students.


Calendar of Events

March 2nd – Read Across America Day

      4:30PM: Senate Floor Session

 5:00PM: House Floor Session

March 3rd10:30AM: House Higher Education Subcommittee

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

4:30PM: House K-12 Subcommittee 

March 4th – 9:00AM: House Education Committee3:00PM: Senate Education Committee


In Case You Missed It…

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.

How Businesses Are Partnering with Schools to Create Opportunities

It’s critical that communities work together to assist students who are pursuing a degree or certificate, step into the career or job that will help them thrive. Career and technical education is important because it allows students to pursue an area of expertise that isn’t usually found in a conventional general education classroom.

While exploring the incredible partnerships our state has to offer, TSS came across a remarkable collaboration between Nissan Group of North America and TCAT Smyrna. Dan Caldwell, Senior Manager of Learning Pathways at Nissan, leads a manufacturing training group for three U.S. manufacturing plants, and his team serves a population of 17,000 employees in their professional and personal growth.

One of the programs Nissan touts was birthed through a partnership with the Rutherford Chamber of Commerce and is an externship for K-12 teachers. Nissan brings teachers onsite to work alongside their employees, so teachers understand first-hand the skills and competencies Nissan requires, as well as the opportunities they offer. These teachers gain a clearer understanding of what happens in the manufacturing plant and the numerous job opportunities that are available for their students.

Watch below as Mr. Caldwell shares about a career awareness event Nissan sponsored with Smyrna Middle School and the opportunity each middle school student had to learn about the innovative opportunities that are available in their own community.