The Ten­nessee Edu­ca­tion­al Equi­ty Coali­tion was formed in the spring of 2016 to har­ness the col­lec­tive influ­ence and voic­es of a diverse group of civil rights and edu­ca­tion advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tions across the state. Our goal is to build a shared advo­ca­cy agen­da that will address the chron­ic dis­par­i­ties in achieve­ment and oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents of col­or across the state. The Coali­tion is con­vened by Conex­ión Améri­c­as, a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion in Nashville that serves the Lati­no com­mu­ni­ty.

From our work in the field, with par­ents, stu­dents, teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tors, we know that our pub­lic edu­ca­tion sys­tem has made impor­tant pro­gress in serv­ing Lati­no, African-Amer­i­can, and EL stu­dents.

How­ev­er, we rec­og­nize that our pro­grams are not enough to change the cycle of dis­par­i­ties in aca­d­e­mic achieve­ment that we see in our schools. Build­ing upon our rep­u­ta­tion as a con­ven­er and col­lab­o­ra­tor, as well as our his­to­ry of advo­ca­cy at the state-lev­el, we have worked to iden­ti­fy and con­vene part­ners from across the state, build­ing a table where all voic­es are heard. 

By doing so we seek to exer­cise greater voice in address­ing the per­sis­tent­ly slow pace of edu­ca­tion­al improve­ment for our stu­dents. More­over, we are com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing our part­ners through sub-grant invest­ments in inno­v­a­tive coali­tions and local advo­ca­cy strate­gies. We believe that our Coali­tion, with part­ners that are deeply root­ed in com­mu­ni­ties of col­or, is itself is a mean­ing­ful unit of change, and must be greater than the sum of its parts. 

In ear­ly March of 2016 we con­vened our Coali­tion in Nashville, and over the course of two days we devel­oped our pol­i­cy pri­or­i­ties, beliefs, and rec­om­men­da­tions. Much of our work for the remain­der of 2016 will focus on engage­ment with the Ten­nessee Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion on the imple­men­ta­tion of the Every Stu­dent Suc­ceeds Act. Our objec­tive is ensure that there is an equi­ty focus as deci­sions are made on defin­ing teacher qual­i­ty, sys­tems of account­abil­i­ty, allo­ca­tions of fund­ing, sup­ports and resources, and more. 

We will work to ensure that the Coali­tion con­tin­ues to grow in mem­ber­ship, capac­i­ty, and influ­ence. We hope you will sign-up to receive our newslet­ters, or to par­tic­i­pate in region­al con­ven­ings and meet­ings in the com­ing months.