Progress on grades 3-8 TCAP reading since 2009-10 has not kept pace with gains in math and science .
+ 3.6 48.4 %
Math Reading Science
Source : Tennessee Department of Education , 2015
In November 2016 , teacher leaders from across the state attended the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching in Tennessee ( ECET 2 TN ) conference . This convening focused on teacher leadership and early literacy , showcasing innovative practices developed in districts and schools across Tennessee . Teachers traded approaches to curriculum development , evidence-based strategies to support student language formation , selections of complex texts for student reading , and ways to promote literacy across subjects .
LEADING INNOVATION FOR TENNESSEE EDUCATION ( LIFT ). District leaders across Tennessee are collaborating to innovate and address the most pressing needs of students . SCORE serves as convener for LIFT , a network of district superintendents working to solve common problems of practice . Among the issues addressed by the group , LIFT superintendents selected early literacy as the network ’ s focal point in 2016 . Twelve participating superintendents from across the state , in partnership with TNTP ( founded as The New Teacher Project ), engaged key district leaders , principals , and teacher leaders to inform and improve teaching practices and organizational structures .
140 139 that classroom practices are beginning to change , with more lessons reflecting the shifts required by the Tennessee standards , increased student time spent interacting with texts , and increased complexity of texts used in classrooms .
Just as teachers are benefiting from close professional learning with their peers , LIFT superintendents are able to enhance their leadership and practices through collaboration with fellow district leaders — and inform state education policies in the process .
PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS . Innovative school and classroom practices thrive in Tennessee ’ s high-performing charter schools , which use flexibility to tackle new approaches to schooling , from longer school days to curriculum tailored to the student population served . Charter schools are free public schools held to high student academic standards and accountable to their authorizing agencies . With the exception of state-run schools established by the ASD , the majority of Tennessee ’ s charter schools are operated by independent organizations instead of local school districts . In 2016- 17 , approximately 29,000 students in Tennessee attend a public charter school in Shelby County , Metro Nashville , Knox County , or Hamilton County . 47
Compared to other public schools , these schools generally serve larger proportions of low-income students and students of color — populations historically underserved in Tennessee . Although 81 percent of students enrolled in public charter schools are economically disadvantaged , many of
Six LIFT districts initiated a pilot in 2016 to align instructional materials to Tennessee ’ s academic standards to ensure teachers have the resources needed to be successful . Four more LIFT districts will pilot resources in 2017 . While these pilots are in early stages , results to date have shown