This post was adapted from a statement by Tennesseans for Student Success on March 3, 2015.
Tennesseans for Student Success and the Tennessee Association of Business Foundation today released polling data highlighting the desire of Tennesseans to move education forward in the state. Polling registered voters statewide, a clear trend developed. A majority of Tennesseans believe the quality of public education is far and away the most important factor in improving Tennessee’s economy. In addition, voters support the student-focused education priorities—like high academic standards, accountability for results and expanding school choice—that have helped make Tennessee the fastest improving state in the nation in student achievement. “Across party lines, across geographic boundaries, across all demographics, Tennesseans are standing up for student success,” said Tennesseans for Student Success Communications Director Ashley Elizabeth Graham. “This data shows us that Tennesseans believe in moving student achievement in the right direction—forward. For example, two-thirds of Tennesseans believe our current academic standards are working and should be thoughtfully reviewed and refined, and voters oppose writing an entirely new set of standards.” Tennesseans almost universally, an overwhelming 85 percent, support the current review process for academic standards in Math and English-Language Arts. Only 8 percent oppose—an eye-popping net positive of 77 percent. More than 70 percent of respondents support annual student assessments and 91 percent of public school parents support annual assessments. Finally, 62 percent of voters support the work of the Achievement School District (ASD). A clear majority of Tennesseans, across both demographic and partisan lines, support the ASD as a tool to turn around failing schools. Graham continued, “Tennesseans sent a clear message—they expect their elected officials to support student success. Tennesseans get it; they see clearly through the fog of rhetoric. If we want a strong economy, a strong future for our state, we must continue forward with the policies that ensure a strong education for our students.” More polling data can be found