Tennessee and CEEDAR have formed a great partnership that has aligned seamlessly with current efforts to improve teacher preparation programs. The most recent State Leadership Team meeting further solidified blueprint goals, in which committees worked fervently to collaborate across institutions and with the state department by taking advantage of the opportunity to work collectively in one setting. While blueprint committees within the Tennessee and CEEDAR initiative are independent of each other in terms of committee make-up, these committees work with each other to ensure the success of the initiative as a whole. High leverage practices (HLPs) are a unifying element that ties all four committees in Tennessee together; creating a consensus among language that forms the basis of the efforts. High leverage practices are being used as a crosswalk to align initiatives in Tennessee such as RTI2, the Special Education Framework, and edTPA. Along with aligning initiatives, HLPs are also being used to develop a needs assessment survey specifically for LEAs.
With an intense level of ambition to continuously propel the CEEDAR initiative forward, Tennessee has created a strategic communication plan to keep all involved stakeholders active and informed. Tennessee has committed to using the Networked Improvement Community (NIC) as a recurring tool for internal communication between IHEs and the state department. Communication outside of the NIC is bountiful as well, given that the team updates entities not directly involved with the Tennessee/CEEDAR initiative regarding the progress being made. Individuals from the state department have been allocated space on the Tennessee Department of Education website to provide updates on the Tennessee/CEEDAR initiative, as well as space for updates in the EPP newsletter.
Looking towards the future, Tennessee has initiated the process of brainstorming to determine ways of expanding and sustaining current efforts at both the state department and IHE level. The SLT has discussed ways in which to build capacity with other stakeholders and maintain connections that have been made and will be made. This is an ongoing discussion that will continue in hopes of sharing and spreading the wealth of knowledge gained through the CEEDAR experience.