English Consultants Work To Reform Nashville's Schools
By Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Two British consultants are leading the way to help turn around Metro Nashville's lowest performing schools. The school board approved using federal money to hire the Tribal Group for $6.3 million over the next five years.
On Wednesday, they introduced their philosophy to teachers at Glencliff High School, one of 33 deemed "high priority."
"We get classified as high priority because our students haven't scored a certain percent on tests," Principal Clint Wilson explained.
For those schools, the pressure is on to make significant improvements.
"It's not just changing one teacher or one student, it's changing the whole school," art teacher Karri Bishop said. "[Changing] pretty much [the] philosophy on how teaching should happen."
That's why the district hired the England based consulting company. Consultants will make Nashville their home as they help school leaders determine how to best educate their students.
"The very first thing we've done is ask teachers what they think," Tribal Group Strategic Lead David Crossley said.
Their approach involves gathering input from teachers, staff and students. On Tuesday, teachers at Glencliff took an online survey that asks how they feel about the school environment, leadership and curriculum.
The results can be analyzed and compared across schools, grade levels and subject areas. It's just the first step in determining what's working and what's not.
Some teachers are optimistic, while others are a little more cautious.
"They are very cutting edge and they realize that's what it's going to take in order for our schools to be turned around," Bishop said.
Teachers said as long as the goal is to increase student achievement they are willing to give it a chance.