(Nashville) – The Expect More, Achieve More Coalition announced today that more than 300 organizations in Tennessee have now joined as coalition members. The coalition is a statewide alliance of business, community, and education organizations supporting high academic standards in public education. The Coalition’s goal is to build statewide and local engagement, support, and awareness of the state’s efforts to raise the bar in the classroom, through Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards, so that every student graduates high school prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. The 315 coalition member organizations represent hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans across the state. (Coalition member list.)
The Coalition also released a video featuring former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist explaining the importance of Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards. Frist, founder and chairman of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), says in the two-minute video that higher standards in school provide a foundation for success throughout life. “Quite simply, the Common Core will help to better prepare students for the jobs of the future,” Senator Frist says. The video has been posted at the Coalition’s website, www.expectmoretn.org.
“Higher academic expectations are a pillar of Tennessee’s efforts to prepare our children for education beyond high school and the workforce,” said Amy Zink, Vice President of Tennessee PTA (a coalition member), Chair of the National PTA’s Military Family Support Committee, and mother of two children. “Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards should have the continued support of parents, policymakers, and educators. As the coalition continues to grow we are excited about the opportunity to educate more Tennesseans about this important work. We know that when we expect more, our students achieve more.”
Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards are a set of higher expectations in math and English Language Arts that were developed by state leaders to ensure that every student graduates high school prepared for the future. These new standards have replaced Tennessee’s old set of expectations for students in math and English Language Arts.
The growth of the coalition mirrors growing recognition of the importance of raising standards as Tennessee establishes itself as a national leader in raising academic performance. Coalition members will be attending Tennessee Senate Education Committee hearings later this week on Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards.
“As an educator, I know from first-hand experience that Tennessee has not done enough in the past to provide our students with the real world skills they need to succeed,” said Jason Bell, the supervisor of instruction for Polk County Schools and Executive Director of the Tennessee Rural Education Association (a coalition member). “We have a tremendous opportunity with Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards to change that and set students on a path to success. This coalition serves as an important vehicle to share this message with parents and community members across Tennessee.”
“The skills that students need to succeed in today’s workforce are very different from the skills needed even 15 years ago,” said Ron Corbin, Principal of RBBC Holdings and a member of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce (a coalition member) Prosperity Leaders. “Even though this work is tough, Tennessee must continue to implement these higher standards. The future of our students depends on it because the economic strength of our state depends on it.”
Members of the Expect More, Achieve More Coalition include: Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry, CMT, Tennessee Science Teachers Association, Tennessee Military Department, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Military Child Education Coalition, Hospital Alliance of Tennessee, Shelby County Schools, Tennessee Principals Association, Rutherford County Schools, Tennessee Board of Regents, Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, and many others. The Coalition includes school districts, chambers of commerce, universities and community colleges, and dozens of education, business, community, and philanthropic organizations from across Tennessee.