Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: July 13

TSS POLL: Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Improving Education Remains a Top Issue for TN Voters

Consistent with earlier TSS polling, Tennessee voters believe improving education should be a top priority for the Governor and the State Legislature – even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, Tennesseans overwhelmingly want to see more rigorous academic standards in public schools and support assessments to gauge whether students are on track in their learning. Four in five voters believe it is important to hold schools and teachers accountable for the quality of their children’s education.

Data highlights: 

  • 62 percent of respondents believe it is important to test public school students from grades 3-12 each year to know if they are on-track.
  • 83 percent of respondents believe it is important to hold schools and teachers accountable.
  • 65 percent of respondents support assigning every school an A-F school rating grade based on student achievement and student growth.
  • 68 percent of respondents view skilled trades and vocational education as a great alternative to college for lifelong success, with 71 percent strongly supporting funding for skilled trades and vocational education.

Read the full press release here

View the full results of the survey here.

Tennessee COVID-19 Update

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

  • The Governor announced $81 million in COVID-19 education relief grants for K-12 and Higher Education Institutions. $61 million has been allocated for K-12 education, including $11 million in grants to Local Education Authorities (LEAs) for reopening and programmatic support and $50 million of district technology grants. The remaining $20 million will be allocated to higher education institutions to aid in alleviating social distance expenses and online transition. The official press release can be found here.
  • The Department of Education announced plans to roll out an online tool that will house an entire year’s instruction in videos that can be seen online by students or downloaded to their devices.
  • Tennessee record it’s highest single-day total of new positive COVID cases last Wednesday, with nearly 2,500 positive cases. However, this comes in conjunction with administering over 29,000 tests, which is the greatest amount of tests that have been administered thus far.
  • The Department of Health addresses an increase in test result waiting times. They are closely monitoring wait times of their lab partners to redirect tests away from overburdened labs to lesser burdened labs.

2020 TNSuccessCard is Coming Soon!

TSS will be releasing the TNSuccessCard on July 20th and you don’t want to miss it! Stay in-the-know by putting your name down and being one of the first to receive it in your inbox.

The SuccessCard is updated at the end of each legislative session and serves as a tool to hold Tennessee’s elected officials accountable for their role student success. On July 20, find out what grade your legislator earned and share it on social media. Get on the list here.

TSS Policy Review

Preceding the release of our TNSuccessCard this summer, we are featuring our policy pillars and the corresponding bills that are associated with those priorities to help inform the grades each legislator has earned.

Thus far we’ve highlighted higher standards, aligned assessment, accountability, and innovation. Check out our pillars and the bills associated with those policy areas from the 2019-2020 legislative session on our website here

Inside Equity with Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance

Every day, TSS works to improve, through policy and politics, public education. Our 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.

This week we are featuring Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance (TECA) as we speak with their Executive Director, Diarese George. TECA focuses on leadership, mentorship, and fellowship as they aim to promote equitable outcomes and excellence in education in Tennessee. As stated from their website, TECA believes “educators of color need a shared, elevated voice and a stronger presence to help craft these types of strong accountability systems that we know ultimately lead to improved outcomes for students of diverse backgrounds.” 

Read our full interview with Diarese George here.

Education Policy Discussion Group

Do you have an interest in learning more about education reform in Tennessee and talking with like-minded folks on how to advance the policies that influence Tennessee’s one million students?

Join Tennesseans for Student Success in our education policy discussion group to help advise us on policies that influence Tennessee’s one million students. Sign up for our Education Policy Discussion Group and participate in the conversation to help create positive change. Sign up here for more information.

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