Frequently Asked Questions2022-03-15T14:50:21-06:00


The Education Trust in Tennessee serves as the convener and backbone organization of The Alliance, maintaining regular communications, convening partners, providing data and analysis, and identifying opportunities for all of us to lead on key education equity issues.

What can members of The Alliance expect?2021-01-19T21:26:47-06:00

We’ll place equity at the center.
We are squarely committed to advancing opportunities and outcomes for students of color, students with disabilities, English learners, economically disadvantaged students, immigrant and undocumented youth, rural students, and all who have been historically underserved in Tennessee. There is no excellence without equity. 

We’ll coalesce around “the 80%”.
Partners acknowledge, respect and celebrate the diversity of organizational missions and priorities represented within The Alliance. Because of this, partners proactively seek consensus and strategically pursue actions that build on shared issues and concerns – put colloquially, “the 80% we agree on.”

We will have flexible engagement.
We understand the demanding nature of the work partners do and offer opportunities for flexible engagement and different modalities for input. Allies decide on a case-by-case basis which advocacy actions and publications they sign on to and support. 

We’ll prioritize community, collegiality and confidentiality.
We take interest in each other as people and care for the health of individuals and organizations as a means to sustain and grow The Alliance. We maintain the confidentiality of what is shared in meetings and agree to keep embargoed publication drafts private.

What is the policy agenda for the Tennessee Alliance for Equity in Education?2021-01-22T22:26:12-06:00

Our policy agenda provides a clear road map and establishes our Equity Principles and Actions that will increase opportunity and achievement for students. Organizations who sign on to join The Alliance have missions that are aligned to these priorities, and will join in advocacy efforts that advance our collective equity principles.

What sets The Alliance apart?2021-01-19T21:22:59-06:00

Our Diversity.
The Alliance includes organizations from across Tennessee that represent different constituencies, focus on different issues in education and social policy, and bring a range of perspectives on educational issues. Our membership will include organizations (allies) as well as individuals who want to sign on as members. We will center the experiences of communities of color, low-income communities and Tennesseans whose voices are missing in decision-making in education.

Our Authenticity and Credibility
Many of our allies and members work with historically underserved students, families and communities, as well as educators across the state. Our allies will bring deep knowledge on the issues we advocate for, as well as strong connections to the people and communities most directly impacted by the policies we discuss.

Our Capacity to Act
Our allies will bring a wide range of expertise to the table, including organizing and serving students, parents and communities, running advocacy campaigns, or leveraging deep policy knowledge and strong community relationships. The Education Trust in Tennessee, which serves as the Alliance’s convener and backbone organization, brings a respected education justice reputation and more than two decades of advocacy experience, content expertise and analytic capacity.

What does joining The Alliance include?2021-01-24T20:44:51-06:00

By joining The Alliance, you have access to:

  • Monthly Circle-up meetings – Here we will discuss new developments in education in Tennessee, hear from experts, share opportunities for action, and strategize together on key issues.
  • Alliance events, convenings, policymaker engagement – The Alliance will host regular events, often with allies convening advocates in their region. Members can also serve as expert panelists, moderators or speakers, and meet with policymakers to share our priorities and recommendations.
  • Signing on to letters and statements Members can sign on to advocacy actions but will always have a choice, and partners can express support for advocacy activities on a case-by-case basis. We welcome discussion and dialogue on our actions, looking always to build consensus and foster respect for the different perspectives our allies bring to the table.
  • Working groups – The Alliance may take on specific campaigns and issues and will form working groups to guide our strategy. They will be open to any member, may be limited in scope or duration, and will serve the larger goals of the Alliance.
  • Leadership and skill development – The Alliance will leverage our collective power while assisting partners in fulfilling their organizational missions through data and policy analyses, facilitated dialogue, professional development, and access to a strong local and national education advocacy network. We will build partner capacity and confidence, helping individuals harness their experiences and expertise to effect policy change.
  • Serving as a spokesperson for The Alliance – Members may be asked to speak to media, write Op-Eds or blogs, or testify as experts in legislative committee meetings or with policymaking bodies.
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