SREB and Tennessee

Overview

SREB and Tennessee

An overview of SREB programs and services and how Tennessee participates in them.

Appropriations from member states support core SREB services. SREB leverages the longstanding commitment of member states to attract external funding for additional programs and services that benefit member states. States may also choose to join targeted networks for additional fees.

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Policy

Goals for Education | Monitoring State Policies

Monitoring and reporting to assist education leaders and policymakers as they shape public policy. SREB tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16 SREB states in each area in the Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education and provides Legislative Reports that detail legislative and budget actions in each state.

SREB’s new Insights data tool allows leaders to explore actions across states, delve into a topic for a deeper understanding, or select a detailed state report.

SREB.org/Insights >

College and Career Readiness

Intensive work to help states implement essential components of SREB’s recommendations for statewide college and career readiness. These include assessing high school juniors to determine their progress toward the state’s readiness standards — and requiring those who are underprepared to transitional courses in 12th grade.

SREB.org/Readiness >

Benchmarking Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards 

Tracks and reports progress on implementation of college- and career-readiness standards and related reforms across 15 states. Based on this research, SREB staff support these states through reports, meetings and technical assistance.

PUBLICATIONS

In May 2017, SREB published Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Alignment of Instructional Materials.

In May 2016, SREB published Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Professional Learning.

These reports include a regional report that describes implementation across the states, highlights strong state efforts and recommends actions for improvement — plus 16 state profiles that describe each state’s efforts in detail, highlight notable actions and offer recommendations for moving forward.

The alignment of instructional materials report notes Tennessee’s strong efforts in using data to continuously improve state efforts.

The professional learning report notes Tennessee’s strong efforts in the areas of providing guidance and tools to help educators design and deliver professional learning and learn about the standards; offering professional learning to educators; and using data and accountability for continuous improvement.

Meetings 

In July 2016, project staff facilitated a virtual meeting of state education agency leaders to discuss findings and implications of the Benchmarking State Implementation of College-and-Career-Readiness Standards: Professional Learning reports. Two participants from Tennessee attended the meeting; one of those participants gave a presentation.

Project staff presented information and facilitated dialogue on implementation of state college- and career-readiness standards and related reforms at SREB’s annual Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in October 2016. Four participants from Tennessee attended the meeting. 

In December 2016, project staff shared findings and implications of the Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Professional Learning reports at the Learning Forward annual conference. One participant from Tennessee attended the meeting.​

INTERACTIVE DATA

In 2016, SREB launched its Insights tool to help policymakers compare and understand state policy and practice. Users can explore data from these and other SREB reports.

SREB.org/Benchmarking >

Career and Technical Education 

State Leaders Forum 

Tennessee attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum on policies for high-quality career and technical education in November 2016: 3

    SREB.org/CTE >

    Educator Effectiveness

    Advises state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals. SREB serves as a technical advisor to state education agencies, conducts needs assessments and focus groups to help states plan and evaluate implementation, spotlights inspiring stories of local practice and convenes stakeholders at regional meetings.

    Technical Assistance

    At various times throughout the year, SREB staff provided technical assistance to Tennessee Department of Education staff, who are leading implementation of the state’s new educator evaluation system.

    In the last 12 months, SREB’s educator effectiveness team provided technical assistance, brokered expertise and provided policy and practice resources to Tennessee state legislators and their staff, state education agency staff, district administrators, principals and teachers.

    convenings

    SREB staff presented to attendees of the SREB Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in September 2017.

    State lawmakers attended SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council Winter Meeting in December 2016. SREB staff presented to attendees on teacher preparation and teacher recruitment strategies.

    reports and data

    SREB produced several resources for Tennessee leaders during the last 12 months, including:

    Evaluator Training: A Guide for States, published in September 2017, spotlights seven components associated with effective training for observers of teachers.

    Feedback on Teaching: A Fresh Look, published in July 2017, describes strategies for district and school leaders to establish and sustain better feedback practices.

    Student Surveys: A Fresh Look, published in May 2017, covers the practical implications for state, district and school leaders seeking to use emerging student survey tools

    Information Request Series, first published in January 2017, features our responses to SREB stakeholders’ questions. Topics covered include educator evaluation, teacher certification, and principal recruitment and retention incentives.

    Educator Effectiveness Bill Tracker interactive tool, updated weekly, allows constituents to track legislative bills across eight areas, including teacher preparation, evaluation and professional learning.

    The bi-weekly Educator Effectiveness e-newsletter.

    SREB.org/EE >

    Teacher Preparation

    SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission meets during 2016, 2017 and 2018 to develop practical and effective statewide recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs.

    The Commission published its first report, More than the Numbers: Teacher Preparation Data Systems State Policy and Recommendations, in September 2017. Tennessee’s Teacher Preparation Report Card is featured in the report.

    Postsecondary Education

    Affordability 

    SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended policies and practices to keep college costs within reach of all students. In addition to the October 2016 report, policymakers can draw on individual state affordability profiles to understand how costs impact families at different income levels and on a Promising State Policies and Practices report featuring cost reduction strategies.

    High School Graduate Projections

    Tennessee registrants participated in a February 2017 webinar SREB co-hosted with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education on WICHE’s Knocking at the College Door projections of high school graduates. David Wright, Tennessee Higher Education Commission senior policy advisor, was a speaker.

    State Services

    Connects policymakers with custom information, presentations and assistance on education issues as they arise. Leaders in member states are encouraged to contact SREB for data, analysis and advice.

    SREB staff visited Tennessee to meet with legislators and staff and attend committee meetings in 2016.

    Throughout 2016-17, legislators and legislative and governors’ staff from Tennessee requested assistance on topics including at-risk students, student educational growth, teacher effectiveness, charter schools and year-round education.

    Meetings 

    SREB state services convenes legislative and governors’ staff from across the SREB region each fall to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions. Tennessee staff were among those from 10 SREB states at the 2017 meeting.

    SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council meets twice annually, once in the winter and again at the annual Legislative Work Conference. The conference is for legislators designated by their state leadership to attend. Tennessee legislators were among those in attendance at the 2017 conference.

    SREB.org/StateServices >

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    Curriculum and School Improvement

    Readiness Courses:
    Math Ready and Literacy Ready

    Courses specifically designed to help underprepared students succeed in the next phase of education. 

    Ready for college

    Courses to teach young adults the reading, writing and math skills they must have to succeed in college. Taught in an engaging way that leads students to learn and think independently, read for information and solve problems.

    Tennessee uses transitional courses, including an option for the SREB Readiness Courses.

    Ready for high school

    New courses for the transition from middle grades to high school. Underprepared students take the classes in eighth or ninth grade.

    Tennessee is one of 10 states that have participated in developing, field testing, training or piloting Ready for High School Literacy or Ready for High School Math

    SREB.org/Ready >

    High Schools That Work

    The nation’s largest school improvement program. HSTW strategies transform high schools into places where all students master complex academic and technical concepts. More than 1,150 schools in 30 states use the framework and its six design features and nine key practices to raise student achievement and graduation rates.

    HSTW State Network

    Member states select schools to receive services. The fee for state membership in the consortium covers several services and visits.

    Tennessee is a member of the High Schools That Work state network. Ten schools were active in 2015-16.

    HSTW Board Member: Danielle Mezera, Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education, Tennessee Department of Education

    HSTW State Coordinator: Grace Palmer, Career Technical Education Specialist, Tennessee Department of Education

    Contracts for Direct Support

    Schools, districts and states contract with SREB for targeted school improvement services such as onsite coaching, technical assistance and professional development. 

    Five Tennessee high schools contracted for direct services in 2014-15. SREB delivered 36 days of onsite coaching and 12 days of onsite staff development at the schools.

    SREB.org/HSTW >

    Making Middle Grades Work

    Engages state, district and school leaders in partnerships with teachers, students, parents and the community to raise student achievement in the middle grades. In addition to workshops and school visits, SREB links schools to the professional development resources they need. The network includes over 650 schools in 20 states.

    Tennessee is a member of the Making Middle Grades Work network, with 10 active schools in 2015-16. SREB delivered 62 days of onsite coaching and 28 days of onsite staff development to the schools.

    SREB.org/MMGW >

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    Professional Development
    For Teachers, Principals and Counselors

    College- and Career-Readiness Networking Conference

    Conference to share effective instructional strategies of the Literacy and Mathematics Design Collaborative frameworks. 

    Tennessee attendees at the July 2016 conference: 7

    SREB.org/NetworkingConference >

    High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference

    Annual conference for thousands of school leaders, teachers and counselors from middle grades, high schools and technology centers across the country.

    Tennessee attendees at the July 2016 conference: 59

    SREB.org/SummerConference >

    Learning-Centered Leadership Program

    Works with district, state and university partners to prepare aspiring principals and school leadership teams to lead school reform to ensure that students are ready for college and careers. This program offers training, guidance and technical assistance.

    Tennessee attendees at the 2017 Annual Leadership Forum: 2

    SREB.org/LCLP >

    Teaching to Lead

    Helps states redesign programs that prepare business professionals to become career and technical education teachers through an alternative certification route. New CTE teachers gain knowledge and skills to manage a classroom of diverse students; plan challenging, work-related assignments; motivate students to complete assignments; and assess student progress.

    In Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, district career and technical education coordinators lead the professional development. MNPS participation:

    • 9 teachers during the 2014-15 school year 
    • 20 teachers during the 2015-16 school year
    • 11 new teachers during the 2016-17 school year

    “Seeing teachers start the training apprehensive and then finish with confidence and skills is very rewarding.” — a Teaching to Lead instructor

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    Postsecondary Education

    Academic Common Market

    A tuition-savings program for college students in SREB member states who want to pursue degrees not offered by in-state institutions. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the in-state tuition rates.

    During calendar year 2016, approximately 2,100 degree programs were available, 151 institutions participated and nearly 3,300 new students were certified for study.

    Number of Tennessee students who participated in ACM during 2016: 182

    ACM State Representative: Herbert Brown, Academic Affairs Analyst, Tennessee Higher Education Commission

    SREB.org/ACM >​

    Regional Contract Program

    Gives students the opportunity to earn a professional health degree from participating institutions in other states through in-state tuition rates at public institutions or reduced tuition at private institutions. More than 600 students participate each year.

    Number of out-of-state students who enrolled in Tennessee programs in 2016-17: 211

    Residents of other states may contract for entry into Meharry Medical College and University of Tennessee Health Science Center in dentistry and Southern College of Optometry. These Tennessee institutions receive more than $4 million annually from other SREB states.

    SREB.org/RCP >

    State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement 

    A nationwide system to open more high-quality distance education offerings for students and ease regulatory burden on institutions. SREB member states may opt in to offer distance education activities in other SARA states.

    Tennessee is an approved member of SARA.

    Tennessee SARA representative: Julie Woodruff, Director of Postsecondary School Authorization and Lead Attorney, Tennessee Higher Education Commission

    SREB.org/SARA >

    Fact Book and Data Exchange

    Publishes one of the nation’s most comprehensive collections of comparative data through a cooperative effort of state postsecondary education agencies. Data are updated annually on topics including population demographics, college completion, tuition and fees, cost of attendance, state appropriations and faculty salaries. 

    Tennessee leaders receive the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education, as well as Tennessee: Featured Facts From the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education and the annual SREB-State Data Exchange tables.

    Tennessee’s Participating Agency and SREB-State Data Exchange Coordinator: Crystal Collins, Tennessee Higher Education Commission

    SREB.org/FactBook >

    Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

    Helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to educate the nation’s registered nurses. The Council surveys institutions for nursing education trends and shares online graduate nursing courses.

    As of October 2017, four Tennessee institutions are members (listed here with their representatives to the Council):

    Middle Tennessee State University: Jenny Sauls, Director
    Southern Adventist University: Barbara James, Dean
    University of Memphis: Lin Zahn, Dean
    University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis: Wendy Likes, Dean

    SREB.org/Nursing >

    Doctoral Scholars Program

    Supports minority students to help them earn Ph.D.s, begin careers at colleges and universities, and diversify campus faculties. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars, with more than 1,200 attendees.

    Scholars funded by Tennessee in 2016-17: 22
    2016 Institute attendees from Tennessee: 32

    Scholars Tennessee has supported since joining in 1993: 110

    Graduates since 1993: 77
    Graduates currently employed: 63
    Percent employed in education: 92

    Tennessee-supported Ph.D. students have attended these institutions since 1993:

    East Tennessee State University
    Georgia State University 
    Meharry Medical College
    Tennessee State University
    Tennessee Technological University
    University of Memphis
    University of Tennessee Health Science Center
    University of Tennessee – Knoxville
    Vanderbilt University
     

    SREB.org/DoctoralScholars >

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    Interstate Cooperatives

    Go Alliance

    An interstate cooperative to increase high school graduation rates, access to education beyond high school, and postsecondary degree completion — particularly for those who would be the first in their families to enroll. Go Alliance research, services and professional development focus on college access policy and communications strategies to motivate students to plan for and apply to college.

    Tennessee is a Go Alliance member state.

    Go Alliance Representative: Troy Grant, Associate Executive Director for College Access and Success, Tennessee Higher Education Commission

    SREB.org/GoAlliance >

    Educational Technology Cooperative

    Membership group of state K-12 and higher education coordinating and governing boards that represent more than 800 colleges and universities and 3,100 school districts in SREB states. The ETC focuses member agencies and state policymakers on using technology wisely, helps states understand technology issues, and forms an action agenda for effectively using technology in education. 

    Tennessee representatives attended the spring and summer webinars. Tennessee ETC representatives helped determine SREB’s 10 Critical Issues in Educational Technology and served on working groups for revisions.

    Tennessee sent a representative to the 2017 ETC Annual Meeting on teaching and technology. Robbie Melton, executive educational technologist at Tennessee State University, conducted a session on the internet of things, smart connected devices and edugadgets.

    Tennessee ETC Representative and Member Agency: Greg Sedrick, Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Tennessee eCampus, Tennessee Board of Regents

    SREB.org/EdTech >

    Technology Purchasing Savings

    Schools, universities and agencies in SREB states saved $3.3 million on over $33 million in technology purchases during fiscal year 2017 — double the FY2016 savings — through SREB’s participation in MHECtech discount agreements. Organizations in each of the 16 SREB states participated.

    Tennessee saved $684,734 on $6,923,417 in technology purchases in fiscal year 2017.

    SREB.org/CostSaving >