Dear Friends,

How can parents know if their children are ready for the next grade? How can they tell if their students are on track to graduate ready to be successful in college or postsecondary education? For the last few years, our state has taken important strides in order to answer these questions. From setting higher expectations in the classroom to ushering in a more rigorous state assessment, Tennessee is on the path to answering those questions for all students.

In fact, parents of elementary and middle school students will receive their first TNReady family reports for grades 3-8 next month. The reports give parents information to act on and provide a big picture look at how their student is learning and growing every year. Because the reports are new and the information is so valuable, the Expect More, Achieve More Coalition has created a video just for parents. The video explains how to read and use the reports to help students learn even more this school year.

In addition, the coalition is hosting teachers and principals at TNReady learning events led by the Tennessee Department of Education across the state in September and October. The coalition wants to be a partner in educator and leader training on the importance and ease of using these reports to better their instructional practice.

For teachers who cannot attend the trainings, there are resources they can download or view on the page for teachers at the Expect More, Achieve More website. Among them is a video of a presentation by Jarred Amato, a Tennessee Educator Fellowship alumnus and Metro Nashville teacher, which details how he uses the TNReady reports to guide his instruction and planning. “I firmly believe that the best test prep for TNReady is high-quality teaching every day. This is my core belief,” Jarred says on the video.

We know – and want parents to understand – that TNReady is a test that matters. It measures what students have learned, rather than test-taking strategies, and identifies what they still need to learn. TNReady matters because it tells parents and educators every year whether a student is on track to achieve his or her postsecondary goals. TNReady matters because the score reports explain what a student has learned and how parents and educators can ensure that the learning continues.

I know I am proud, and hopeful, to watch this student-focused work continue so that we will someday soon be able to say that we know where each Tennessee student stands on the track to being prepared for school, career, and life.

Very truly yours,