Since 1999, Stand for Children members in Tennessee have won 19 state and local victories leveraging more than $150 million in public funding for schools and other programs serving more than 1,383,303 children. Our objectives are to improve Tennessee schools and achieve legislative and electoral victories for our students.
Notable Legislative Work
Stand played a meaningful role in developing and passing the First to the Top Act (2010), which lifts a prohibition on using student achievement data in teacher and principal evaluations and gives the state greater flexibility in turning around low-performing schools. Tennessee’s work on First to the Top led the state to be one of the first two recipients of millions of dollars in a federal Race to the Top grant.
Since then, Stand supported the follow-up Senate Bill 1528/House Bill 2012 (2011), which reforms tenure, links tenure status to performance evaluations, and makes performance a primary criterion for district layoff decisions.
Stand has worked actively on legislation around teacher quality, tenure, charter school authorization, the Shelby County consolidation, mutual consent hiring for teachers, and many other important areas of educational legislation.
Recent Electoral Work
- Stand Memphis endorsed and campaigned in 2012 for the new Unified School Board in Shelby County. Members phone banked, canvassed, and poll worked, reaching out to 30,000 likely voters- and successfully won 4 out of the 7 seats, with all endorsed candidates becoming members.
- Nashville Stand also had success in school board campaigns, winning two seats in 2010 and winning another two in 2012.
Recent Community Engagement
Most recently, Memphis has been:
- Actively ensuring that the consolidation happens in a timely manner and with community input- Stand leaders met individually with school board members and discussed our priorities, while encouraging the board to make smart choices in a timely manner about the future of the school district.
- Collecting communinity feedback for the current superintedent search in Shelby County with our Stand Day of Discussion discussion parties- Members hosted discussion parties (13 so far) and approximately 100 community members have provided feedback which will be produced into a report for the school board.
- Educating people on the common core state standards- We have presented in several schools and community groups to educate them on the new academic standards coming to Tennessee: The Common Core State Standards.
- Protecting the funding for Pre-K classrooms- Sixty-two Pre-K classrooms are on the chopping-block because of our deficit and we aim to protect them.
- Partnered with the Nashville Business Chamber, IMF and MNEA as a colation called Friends of Metro Schools to create a primer on school funding. The primer reached 10,000 families and was such a hit that we were asked in both 2012 and 2013 to present it to the School Board.
- Ran a statewide conference call for parents and community members with Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman to promote understanding regarding No Child Left Behind waivers.
- Launched the Great Schools for Every Child campaign to encourage the Nashville Metro School Board to change their mission and vision statement to communicate a commitment to ensuring every child has a great school.