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Mayor's Education Initiatives

Mayor speaking to a classroom full of children

The administration is committed to strengthening Nashville’s public schools, supporting our teachers, and ensuring all students from every neighborhood have access to high-quality educational experiences. This commitment includes an emphasis on teacher quality, school leadership, fair compensation, and an equitable working and learning environment for all. It also recognizes the importance of working with business and philanthropic partners to invest in cradle-to-career initiatives like early childhood education and pathways to living-wage careers and jobs. Our key education priorities include:

  • Improving third grade literacy rates
  • Ensuring Nashville is the best city in the state to teach and lead
  • Expanding enrichment activities and whole child supports
  • Creating the conditions for post-secondary success and economic mobility
  • Securing more resources for public education in Nashville

Programs and Initiatives

Improving third grade literacy rates

According to 2019 TNReady data, just 29 percent of MNPS 3rd grade students are proficient in reading. The downstream results of this are deeply concerning. The best available research suggests that students who do not read on grade-level by 3rd grade face lower high school graduation rates, fewer career opportunities, and increased involvement in the criminal justice system. The Mayor’s office is committed to working in deep partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), the United Way of Greater Nashville, and the coalition of organizations supporting the Blueprint for Early Childhood Success to dramatically improve the number of 3rd graders reading at grade level by 2025.

Ensuring Nashville is the best city in the state to teach and lead

This administration is committed to working in partnership with the Director of Schools and the MNPS school board to set the bold goal of making Nashville the best city in the state to teach and lead in public education. The Mayor’s Office is already working with MNPS and the Nashville Public Education Foundation to better understand the causes of teacher attrition and the challenge of teacher recruitment. It’s the first step toward delivering on the Mayor’s commitment to boost teacher pay and attracting/retaining the best teachers for our students. In addition to fair pay, in the months to come, the Mayor’s Office intends to work with MNPS, the State, nonprofits, local businesses, and local universities to ensure that our principals also have best-in-class training and support.

Expanding enrichment activities and whole child supports

While effective teachers and principals are among the most important in-school factors affecting student learning, research and evidence indicate that out-of-school factors also have a significant impact on student achievement, especially for students experiencing poverty. Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 has only increased the need for wrap around services and youth-centered enrichment activities. This administration is committed to convening key stakeholders and connecting community and Metro Government resources to schools, so that students have intentional and systematic access to the support and encouragement they need to thrive in school.

Creating the conditions for post-secondary success and economic mobility

There’s no question that Nashville is a city on the move. Economic growth and tourism have created a bustling downtown that attracts people and businesses from around the world. But it’s also important to remember that Nashville’s greatest assets are the people who make this city what it is. Students and young adults in Nashville deserve every chance at the American dream, and the Mayor’s office has a duty to make that dream a reality. This administration is committed to working in partnership MNPS, local higher education institutions, community groups, and local businesses to bridge the gap between high school and post-secondary education and expand career opportunities for young people.

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Securing more resources for public education in Nashville

The best available research on education spending suggests that investing more money in public education consistently results in better outcomes for students. This includes higher test scores, higher graduation rates, and sometimes higher wages as adults. Consistent with the evidence, this administration is committed to advocating for more funding from the State of Tennessee through the BEP funding formula. We are also committed to making significant investments with local dollars. Understandably, with more resources comes more responsibility and accountability. Whenever Metro makes any new investments in MNPS, the Mayor’s office will work closely the Director of Schools to monitor the efficacy of those investments to ensure students and families receive high-quality public education.

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