NPEF Releases Benchmark Report, Next Steps for Project RESET

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Following the success of RESET Saturday, attended by more than 750 people on May 30, the Nashville Public Education Foundation (NPEF) is continuing its Project RESET work to bring Nashvillians together behind a cradle-to-career effort to support and improve our public schools.

Today, the NPEF released “Picking up the Pace,” a benchmark study comparing Nashville’s progress economically and educationally to 10 benchmark cities across the country and 10 similar Tennessee communities. The report finds that, while Nashville is leading the pack on a range of economic indicators, including job growth, the city ranks in the middle or near the back on most education indicators.

“Important progress has been made in recent years, but we have a great deal of work still ahead of us,” said Shannon Hunt, NPEF president and CEO. “We hope this report will serve as a call to action for the city to come together in a much bigger way to strengthen and improve our public schools. It is imperative we pick up the pace and move with greater intentionality in the pursuit of public school excellence.”

The report highlights five areas, dubbed “levers of change,” that would help to speed up improvement:

  1. Talent: Launch a defined set of initiatives to recruit, develop and retain high-quality teachers.
  2. Autonomy: Give principals greater flexibility and decision-making authority to address the needs of kids and families in their schools.
  3. One Size Does Not Fit All: Develop cluster-specific strategies aimed at ensuring every child has access to great schools and that the right supports are in place to meet the needs of different communities, neighborhoods and kids.
  4. Early Learning: Deepen efforts around early childhood by building school readiness (i.e., quality pre-K) and early literacy skills – all with a goal of taking third-grade literacy from less than half of the city to a majority within five years.
  5. Postsecondary Success: Substantially increase the college-going rate of the district by ensuring a larger percentage of our kids enroll in and complete some level of postsecondary education.

The benchmark report’s release comes on the heels of RESET Saturday, where Nashvillians from neighborhoods across the city heard from national experts, weighed in on priorities and offered ideas to speed the pace of improvement.

Over the coming weeks, a traveling exhibit will give Nashvillians additional opportunities to weigh in with feedback and ideas. In partnership with the Nashville Public Library and other community partners, the interactive exhibit will travel to neighborhoods across the city. The next stop is at the Madison Public Library from July 13-20. A full list of other stops can be found at resetnashville.org. Additional opportunities include:

  • July 13-19: Madison Public Library, 610 Gallatin Pike South Madison, TN 37115
  • July 20-26: Looby Branch Library, 2301 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard Nashville, TN 37228
  • July 27-Aug. 2: Bellevue Branch Library, 720 Baugh Road Nashville, TN 37221
  • Aug. 3-9: Southeast Branch Library, 5260 Hickory Hollow Parkway, Suite 201 Antioch, TN 37013

“RESET Saturday was the beginning of a much larger conversation,” Hunt said. “We want to keep the collaborative effort going and continue to get people talking about what we can and must do as a community to move with greater speed and intentionality. By taking Project RESET on the road, we give residents in neighborhoods across Nashville a chance to weigh in on various ideas.”

To learn more about Project RESET or to download the report, “Picking up the Pace,” visit resetnashville.org.