Transition Team to develop recommendations for key areas of need for Metro Schools

Today Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph named the members of his transition team, which he has charged with bringing forward both short- and long-term recommendations for key areas of need for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

The 47-member group is comprised of national experts, local thought-leaders, principals, and parents, as well as other representatives of the broader community. All members bring unique knowledge and expertise to the group. In addition, local members each have a vested interest in the future of public education in Nashville.

The transition team will work in a subcommittee structure over the next five months to conduct a deep analysis and develop recommendations in four areas:

1.     Student Achievement: Strategies to ensure that all students thrive, succeed and have an opportunity to develop their talents under a skillful teacher who utilizes excellent instructional techniques.

2.     School Choice: Strategies to ensure that school choice is equitable, accessible and supports the needs of students and families.

3.     Communications and Community Engagement: Strategies to ensure that district communications keep all stakeholders informed and engaged and help rebuild trust between the district and the community.

4.     Talent and Human Resources: Strategies for how the district can recruit and retain the best and the brightest educators and support staff.

“While there are numerous school-based and operational issues that a transition team could explore, I believe these are the four most critical areas we must address in order to make real and immediate improvement as a district,” Dr. Joseph said. “These four areas are foundational building blocks for student success. We need the best possible staff, the highest quality instruction, school choices that meet families’ needs, and a communications philosophy that welcomes parents and community members into our schools as partners in our work. If we can develop a game plan to accomplish those four things, we’ll be headed in the right direction.”

Dr. Joseph has appointed two co-chairs to lead the transition team: David Williams II, professor of law, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletics director at Vanderbilt University, and Dr. Betty Molina Morgan, president and CEO of the Morgan Education Group, former executive director of America’s Promise Alliance’s Grad Nation Campaign and the 2010 National Superintendent of the Year.

“Mr. Williams and Dr. Morgan are both incredible leaders with proven track records of guiding great accomplishments for the organizations they have served,” Dr. Joseph said. “By bringing both a local and national perspective to oversee the transition team, I feel confident this group will produce recommendations that reflect the best, most innovative practices in America’s public education sector but custom-tailored to meet the unique needs of Nashville.”

The transition team is a key component of the 100-day plan guiding Dr. Joseph’s entry into the school district. The transition team’s recommendations – as well as public input sought through a series of 11 “Listen & Learn” meetings scheduled across Nashville in July and early August – will help form the basis for a new strategic plan for Metro Schools.

The transition team will meet for the first time on Monday, July 11. Each of the four subcommittees will develop their own meeting schedules and work processes. The entire group will convene mid-way through the process and again to conclude their work in November. A final report of recommendations is expected in December. District staff will support the subcommittees by providing available data and information on current practices within Metro Schools.

“Each of the four subcommittee areas are complex topics that can be approached from a variety of perspectives,” Dr. Joseph said. “I will be relying on the co-chairs as well as the chairs of each subcommittee to ensure that the work groups have the chance to hear a myriad of voices through research and focus groups. The final recommendations should be grounded in proven-effective models and reflective of the true needs of our student population and community.”

All transition team members with bios