Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: August 10

A Note From TSS President & CEO Adam Lister

For many, August is a time to get back in the swing of things, set goals, and begin the school year. This year looks significantly different as Tennesseans experience the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, we’re grateful for the teachers, staff, and everyone involved in making the back-to-school process as seamless as possible. This school year would not look the same without you. And the fact remains, Tennessee voters support improving education and aiding Tennessee’s students as a top priority, as demonstrated through our extensive polling.

Additionally, Tennesseans went to the polls last week and reinforced the need for student-focused leaders in the Tennessee General Assembly, and TSS is proud to help lead that effort. Check out our press release from election night and thank you for taking on the fight for student success with us.

When we released our 2020 TNSuccessCard, we had in mind that it would be an easy and honest tool to see whether your elected officials supported Tennessee’s students this legislative session. We hope you take a look around as you prepare for the general election in November.

Tristar Reads, our annual summer reading scholarship program, still has a month left. Any Tennessee student heading into or coming out of kindergarten – 12th grade is eligible to participate. Head to for more information, to sign up, log your reader’s hours, or see how we award our three $1,000 college scholarships.

Thank you for all you do for Tennessee’s students, educators, and classrooms. We’re grateful to be in this work with you.

Celebrating Primary Election Day

Last Thursday was election day as Tennesseans voted to put the candidates they want to see on the ballot in November. Voting is a right and a privilege we get to exercise as citizens of this amazing country. This past week was a successful one for Tennesseans as we elected candidates to the Tennessee General Assembly who openly support higher standards and a meaningful accountability system to drive improvements in public education.

Check out our full statement on last week’s results and further details of the comprehensive campaign TSS executed to ensure those who champion students above all were elected.

Tennessee COVID-19 Update

The following updates are from Governor Bill Lee’s press conference last Thursday:

  • The Tennessee Department of Education announced the launching of a new online academic tool for families and educators, called “Best for All Central.” The site aims to provide additional school leader and educator professional development, an education standard navigator to aid in the accessibility of Tennessee’s educational standards, a series of instructional videos with companion lessons, and a host of other resources for families, educators, and students to utilize to supplement distance learning. The official press release for the announcement can be found here.
  • Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Education announced an additional $15 million of grant funding to school districts to purchase WiFi/MiFi devices for students. The grant will provide internet access to approximately 100,000 households. 
  • The official press release, from the Governor’s office, around additional resources being provided to assist schools in their reopening efforts can be found here.
  • An official announcement regarding the convening of a special session on Monday, August 10, 2020 was made. The official press release of the announcement can be found here
  • Pfizer has granted $250,000 to Tennessee school districts for the purchase of touch-less thermometers.
  • The Department of Health reported encouraging information around lab throughput improvement and reductions in new COVID-19 cases being reported.

Join Our Back to School Webinar Part II

TSS, in partnership with TennesseeCAN, is hosting an online discussion with diverse voices from across the state about student learning experiences from as schools have officially begun for the fall semester.

This is an open discussion and we welcome your questions and thoughts on Wednesday, September 2 at 3 pm CT/4 pm ET. Hear from a panel of parents, teachers, school leaders, and state legislators on returning to school this fall. 

Inside Equity with Futuro, Inc.

We’re excited to welcome Jennifer Novo, Executive Director for FUTURO, Inc. to be featured in this week’s Inside Equity. FUTURO helps prepare and build opportunities for professional growth and advancement for college Latino students through chapters in Tennessee universities and colleges. 

TSS’ mission is to build political power and influence to ensure the development and implementation of policies that support educational opportunity is for ALL Tennesseans. Read more about our response from President & CEO Adam Lister here. Read our full interview with Executive Director, Jennifer Novo here

TSS BLOG: Voting, Elections, and Questions You Might Be Scared to Ask Part II

Welcome to part II of our Voting, Elections, and Questions You Might Be Scared to Ask blog series. Last Thursday was election day in Tennessee, so we wanted to address all the intimidating questions that you may or may not be wanting to ask about the election process.

It’s important to keep these things in mind as we prepare for the election in November. Let’s exercise our right to vote together and stay as informed and engaged as possible. Click here to read part II of our blog.

In Case You Missed It…

Press Releases

Tennessee Students Spend More Than a Million Mi...




NASHVILLE — Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) is excited to congratulate each participant in our annual Tristar Reads contest, including our four category winners who truly accomplished an... more
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Public Charter Schools Can Boost Revenue and Im...




This year, school districts in Tennessee witnessed a notable rise in applications to start Career and Technical Education (CTE) focused public charter schools Of the 14 charter applications districts... more
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Press Releases

Metro Councilman Freddie O’Connell Enjoys...




NASHVILLE —  Metro Councilman Freddie O’Connell sits at the top of the latest Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) poll of the Nashville mayoral race The TSS poll is likely the last to be... more
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