Friday, February 15, 2013


Reforming Education in Tennessee

Youth Life Learning Center Student
I attended the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) meeting on February 5, 2013 to hear the report put out by SCORE.  A lot of information was shared about the State of education in our State.  The one thing that I took away was that we still have a lot of work to do.  Our students need to be able to compete with not just the students in our State, but across the nation and internationally.  The panel presenters  (Speaker Harwell, Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, Dr. Kandi Hill-Clark, Ms. Allyson Chick – TN Teacher of the year, Ayers Foundation) were very informative and shared several things that we have to work on as a State.  Ms. Allyson Chick (TN teacher of year) continued to bring us back to the student.  We can sometimes forget that at the end of the day it’s about the student and equipping and preparing teachers to work with them.  A statement that I will not forget came from Dr. Kandi Hill-Clark “We must have principals who are being prepared as instructional leaders."  Please click link to see the full report SCOREREPORT.   One of the things that we have to really focus on is preparing students based on their learning style and creating individual learning plans for each student. Individual learning plans shouldn’t be seen as something for special education students.  Youth Life has seen the benefits of using Individual Learning Plans for each student. When teachers focus on the individual student skills and abilities you move students progress forward.  

Steps to Individualized Learning
Inform: After getting teachers on board, provide information to parents and students on the benefits of individualized learning.
Inspire: Generate support by getting all parties to understand the benefits of personalized approach.
Investigate: Select a method to identify individual students' strengths and weaknesses, such as diagnostic tests.
Involve: Bring together all parties, students as well as parents and teachers, to help plan the process.
Create personalized "smart" goals and learning plans for each of your students.
Initiate: Organize resources (time, personnel, space, materials, computers) and set learning plans in motion.
Implement: Evaluate progress of each student's plan and measure achievement on a quarterly basis.
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CEO, Youth Life Foundation TN