Mayor Karl Dean’s political leadership has set the stage for change in Nashville’s educational landscape. Soon after his election in 2007, the mayor declared that improving Nashville’s schools would be his number one focus.
One of his first steps was to partner with Teach For America, raising the necessary community funding to launch and sustain the organization in Nashville. He also attracted The New Teacher Project to the region. Combined, about 250 teachers recruited by Teach for America and The New Teacher Project now work in Metro Nashville schools.
Mayor Dean created M-SAC as a partnership between Metro Schools, Metro Police, and Juvenile Court to provide early intervention for students with multiple absences, leading to a 17.2 percent drop in high school truancy. He also created the Nashville Afterschool Zone Alliance to coordinate a system of free and accessible afterschool programs, which more than doubled the number of middle school students participating in structured after school programs. In March 2012, Mayor Dean opened enrollment for the inaugural class of the Scholars Academy, a free four-week intensive academic summer program to help Metro School students prepare for success in high school and eventually college. The program, which also includes year-round support for the scholars and their parents, is part of Dean’s push to double the number of Metro Nashville Public School students who attend college and receive a post-secondary degree.
Given the energy among political leaders about these initiatives, Teach For America corps members and alumni are part of an exciting effort to bring lasting change for the kids of Greater Nashville.
From Motown Monday at The 5 Spot to the annual Tomato Arts Festival, East Nashville is a quirky and charming community nestled beside the Cumberland River. A recent flock of artists, musicians, and young families to the area has led to an influx of new places to live, shop, eat and play. The one thing that hasn’t changed in East Nashville is the strong sense of community. Home to three school clusters where Teach For America corps members and alumni make an impact, the East Nashville community is committed to education and innovation.
In order to be qualified to teach, Greater Nashville corps members are required to take and pass content-specific Praxis exams prior to and during the school year. Corps members must also take a minimum of two courses offered through our university partner, Lipscomb University, in order to receive a transitional teaching license. These courses are specifically designed by Lipscomb University, in collaboration with Teach For America, to meet the needs of corps members. After taking an additional two courses, corps members can become fully licensed and have the option to earn a master's of education by completing further coursework.