2022 Nashville Chamber Education Report

Highlights of 30 years

our past recommendations & their outcomes

2019 Recommendation:

MNPS should provide the community with an aspirational funding amount that reflects what a high-quality education costs to guide budgetary conversations and encourage more private-public partnerships.
Dr. Adrienne Battle presented an aspirational budget at community meetings held in the spring of 2020 to elicit stakeholder feedback. MNPS also presented a “maintenance of effort” budget that outlined what it would take to maintain their current operations, as well as a series of budget improvements to meet the priorities of the School Board. Although Metro Council did fund a step increase for staff and created a minimum wage for service employees, the budget crisis caused by COVID-19 meant that the city could not fund those priorities. The following year, the Education Report Committee encouraged MNPS to continue to present an aspirational budget – especially when difficult budget decisions must be made – that shows the impact on people, services and resources when the school system is not adequately funded.

2018 Recommendation:

The MNPS School Board should enact a policy that ends out-of-school suspensions, expulsions or arrests in Pre-k through 4th grade, except for the most egregious acts (as identified by PASSAGE).
In 2019, the school board adopted a policy that ends out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for Pre-K through 4th grade. The data shows that the number of students suspended for these grades decreased from 1,021 to 590. The Education Report Committee continues to urge the district to ensure that the supports and resources are available to principals and teachers to make the policy manageable and meaningful on the school level.

2016 Recommendation:

Metro Schools should engage community partners in developing a citywide plan and timeline to ensure early-grade (K-2) literacy by May 2017.
In 2017, Metro Schools, Mayor Megan Barry, the Nashville Public Library, and the Nashville Public Education Foundation convened a group of approximately 20 community partners to develop a citywide plan and timeline to ensure early-grade literacy achievement. The group released their report—A Blueprint for Action—in October 2017. Its goal was to double the number of third graders reading proficiently by 2025. The Nashville Area Chamber and several members of the 2016 Education Report Committee were part of the planning committee. Additionally, MNPS developed a literacy plan to serve as a guide for its efforts to increase student proficiency in literacy and provide a consistent framework for teachers, principals, central office staff, parents, community members and other stakeholders.

2014 Recommendation:

Metro Schools should reform the pay supplement system to financially reward teachers who assume leadership roles at their schools.
Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly allocated an additional $98 million in teacher compensation as part of the 2015-2016 state budget. School districts had the flexibility to deploy these new resources as part of their differentiated compensation plan. MNPS chose to set aside a portion of this allocation for teacher leadership stipends in the amount of $1.4 million. At the same time, MNPS’ human capital department standardized the definition of teacher leadership roles as well as the stipend amount for many of these positions, including lead teachers, multi-classroom leaders, instructional coaches and certain deans of instruction and deans of students. The stipend amounts were also significantly increased.

2013 Recommendation:

Metro Government should allow enrolled K-12 students to ride Metropolitan Transit Authority buses at no cost to the student, making school choice a real possibility for Nashville’s students and families.
During his 2014 State of Metro address, Mayor Karl Dean announced the city’s commitment to allow MNPS high schoolers to ride MTA buses at no cost to students. Shortly after school began in August 2014, the district issued coded identification cards to 21,000 students, allowing them access to bus rides any time. At the end of the first nine weeks of school, MTA showed a 15 percent increase in student ridership. The availability of free-to-students public transportation is a critical step in allowing more extensive school choice to students and increasing city-wide access to cultural and entertainment activities, as well as employment opportunities.

2012 Outcome:

The Board of Education should develop a dashboard to review progress on key performance measurements at their regularly scheduled meetings.
The Board of Education now has a dashboard to track key metrics in student achievement, attendance, discipline and other key data. The data are pulled from the district’s data warehouse and updated as the data source allows, which ranges from as often as daily for measures like attendance to annually for some test results. The dashboard provides data on state achievement test results, attendance, discipline status, including in- and out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, the number of students with zero to three flags that put them at risk, and more.