In this file photo from 2017, teachers and principals from Tennessee shared their views about the issues they face with their students.
Nashville, TN (TN Tribune)– Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) today released the following statement after Governor Bill Lee (R-Tenn.) announced his intention to convene the Tennessee General Assembly for a special legislative session to address critical issues facing public education.
With only 34.9 percent of students meeting expectations in ELA across grade levels, we must address literacy head-on with comprehensive legislation that provides students with the necessary instruction and high-quality material to improve student success, officials from TSS said. The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to debate the literacy bill this Wednesday.
“Tennessee’s literacy rates are at crisis-level lows with only 34.9 percent of students reading on grade level. The life-long challenges created through reading gaps disproportionately impact Tennessee’s most marginalized students. We need a bold and urgent response to these issues if we are to chart a new path to success for hundreds of thousands of students,” said TSS President & CEO Adam Lister. “Adding to the already desperate and critical need for intervention, a global pandemic deepened the discrepancy in literacy rates and further accentuated tragic learning inequities for low-income students and students of color. We are Tennesseans; we have a history of taking bold steps in confronting challenges. We appreciate Governor Lee’s leadership and applaud his taking action to elevate and prioritize these issues through a special session. We look forward to working with the Tennessee General Assembly and Governor Lee to create and adopt bold solutions to improve student learning and success.”