December 28, 2020
2020 has been an unforgettable year – in some of the most unexpected, tragic, and surprising ways. It’s easy to eagerly begin to turn a new leaf and charge into 2021 with as much gusto and pride as we started 2020 with. While, it’s true, there is hope on the horizon and great things to look forward to in the new year, it is also important to reflect on the year and remember the things that we are grateful for and are proud of. Join us as we round up the top 5 highlight moments within TSS and the Tennessee education space.
Communications to lawmakers through our advocacy portal, Tennesseans for Student Success Action Network, increased by 2000 percent! We are excited and grateful for the hundreds of parents and teachers who made their voices heard this year.
At our annual Day on the Hill, parents, teachers, students, and community leaders made their voice heard in person through meetings with members of the General Assembly, the Tennessee Department of Education, and leaders in the administration. We had more individuals than ever participate in this exciting event.
Leaning into the important conversations happening during this election year, TSS rolled out the Civic Action Center platform which allowed any Tennessean to learn about candidates running for public office, study their platforms, and identify their local polling location for the primary and general election.
We are always seeking new ways to expand our impact and improve public education options for students across Tennessee. This year, we grew our team and board, adding talented leaders and team members. New to TSS this year are: Alice Ball, Executive Assistant; Jack Minor, VP, Strategy and Advocacy; and Board Member Harry Allen and Krissy DeAlejandro.
We’re very proud to welcome these new friends to TSS in 2020.
This year marked our fourth annual (and largest) Tristar Reads scholarship competition. A total of 460 students and thirteen Tristar Reads Team Leaders participated this summer. We awarded three $1000 scholarships to elementary school, middle school, and high school students, and $1500 in literacy and resource prizes to local and school libraries who participated in the Team Leader program.
Additionally, twenty Tennessee legislators participated in online read-alouds for students and families to watch this summer on Facebook Live. Connect to our Facebook page to revisit these read alouds whenever you want!
Want to get a jump start on 2021 summer reading? Sign up for Tristar Reads 2021 to be the first on the list of updates for this scholarship program next year here.
TSS released our fourth annual TNSuccessCard, a helpful tool to gauge how members of the Tennessee General Assembly voted and evaluated education policy issues during the 111th legislative session. Keeping our elected officials accountable for the decisions that affect Tennessee’s one million students is essential in keeping voters informed and engaged on education reform issues. Preparing today’s students with the skills they need to achieve economic independence impacts not only students and parents but also employers and every citizen in the Volunteer State.
Check out this year and year’s past SuccessCard online here.
With every election comes an opportunity to change the course of our state’s political landscape to positively create change among Tennessee’s one million students and this election was no different.
Take a look at how pivotal this year’s primary and general election was through the sweeping changes made in the Tennessee General Assembly. Hear from TSS’ President & CEO on the impact Tennessee’s primary election had on our state’s trajectory here.
Read our full statement on the expansion of education reform champions in the General Assembly this year here.