Welcome to the North Central Tennessee P-16 Blog site. This blog will serve as a central online source for communication, collaboration, and ideation for stakeholders within our five-county region – Macon, Robertson, Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson. The North Central Tennessee P-16 Council functions within the original framework of the P-16 Initiative:
P-16 is the shorthand term for a student-focused, comprehensive and integrated system that links all education levels from preschool (P) through post-secondary. It is a powerful framework for citizens and policymakers to use to improve teaching and learning and thus better prepare students for living, learning, and working in a changing world. (http://www.p16.org/)
Within this framework, this council has established a distinct vision and mission that are specific to our region.
The Vision of the North Central P-16 Council is to promote the relationship between education and the value of work, develop a highly trained workforce, and create a culture of lifelong learning by positively impacting student success through awareness, advocacy, and action.
The mission of the North Central P-16 Council is to bring together stakeholders from the private and public sector to strengthen connections, improve communication, share resources, knowledge, and expertise, to improve student success for all students pre-kindergarten through postsecondary.
The Council has chosen to focus on one goal this year: To get students prepared for career and/or college. This goal will be supported by three distinct initiatives:
- Encourage communication and dialogue among community stakeholders about education and workforce development
- Develop programs and initiatives to improve student success, teacher training, and business engagement
- Establish a communication platform to better engage local stakeholders and community members on matters related to education and workforce development
The past meeting on April 15th highlighted the accomplishments and challenges of our local school systems. Four counties (Robertson, Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson) participated in the forum. The content of each speech reiterated the challenges that are common to any school system in this nation. However, the approaches to solving these problems were inherently unique. As it relates to ways the community can help with these challenges, there were two primary initiatives in need of serious consideration: funding for technology and partnership opportunities.
Technology is a vital part of the infrastructure and operations of a school system. The impact of technology can be seen in all aspects of a school system’s operation. However, acquiring technology can be a costly endeavor for school systems with considerable resource constraints (financial, human capital, and time), which is the reality for the counties in our region. From the student perspective, the digital divide is a game-changing phenomenon that can have a negative impact on future education and employment opportunities. On the other side of the classroom, the instructional capacity is considerably constrained when technology limitations are present. System-wide, the notion of efficiency is highly dependent on the institution’s ability to deploy technological resources to improve communications, operational performance, and accountability. The Council will begin to look into ways to develop community-driven solutions to continue advancing the state of technology within the school systems.
Partnerships are important to any educational enterprise. It can easily be assumed that students are well-informed on future education and career opportunities. The discussion during the forum proved otherwise. In order for our students to develop successful plans for their education and career, they must be exposed to existing careers and occupations in demand. This exposure is also beneficial to our teachers in their efforts to provide real-world examples during instruction. Partnerships, as explained by the school directors, tighten the integration between education and business (Montgomery County Schools, 2010, p. 57).
We will begin informal discussions on technology funding and partnership programs later this year. Your support is needed to help develop and fund these initiatives. If you are interested in participating in either initiative, please contact Ken Lovett at email@example.com.