Since 2015, Tennesseans for Student Success has championed the policies we believe have led to the state’s historical growth and improvement in public education. We have worked with lawmakers to ensure they understand the benefit higher expectations, quality measurement and more public school options means for everyone involved. We have organized a grassroots coalition of parents, teachers and community leaders, and have taken the message of both the urgency and benefit of a high-quality public education system to every corner of the state. We believe information is power, and access to clear, honest information changes everything. That’s why we are doubling down on our commitment to be advocates for great public schools by ensuring everyone involved in a classroom’s success is accountable, including lawmakers.

This week, Tennesseans for Student Success is launching its inaugural Student Success Scorecard that will provide all those involved in Team Classroom with a one-stop information shop to see firsthand how their elected officials are supporting student success in the Volunteer State.

Tennessee’s historical improvement in math, reading and science is worth celebrating—and defending. Each session of the Tennessee General Assembly brings opportunity to either further enshrine the policies and support the people who have helped bring about student success, or deliberately undermines the work being done in Tennessee’s classrooms for short-term political gain.

When we’re with educators, in community meetings or talking with voters, we hear regularly about the need for accessible information on how elected officials voted on the four priorities that support student success: rigorous academic standards, a statewide assessment aligned to those standards, accountability for everyone involved in the classroom and more choices in public education. We created this scorecard to be a central location for information on bills filed in the General Assembly, as well as a quick and accurate explanation of those bills, how they affect student success and how your elected official voted on them.


As we move into the 2018 election season, it is critical that we continue to support Tennessee’s classrooms. Our students—every student—are on track for success for the first time in decades. With strong teachers, engaged parents and classrooms dedicated to growth, we are confident our students will graduate ready for a bright future. Each General Assembly will have an opportunity to carry that noble work forward, and we will continue to gather voices from around the state in support of those who support education.

As we move forward in the next year with an aggressive strategy for the 2018 election, we are proud to offer another tool to help Tennessee’s voters make informed decisions as they continue their support of student success.

Christi Gibbs is a founding board member of Tennesseans for Student Success. The opinions expressed in this op-ed belong solely to the author, not or its employees.