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Bredesen Appoints Tennessee First to the Top Advisory Council
Released on Mon, Jun 21, 2010 - 3:25 pm

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced 14 appointments to the Tennessee First to the Top Advisory Council, a broad-based group of Tennesseans and national experts who will provide strategic guidance, direction, and thought leadership to state policymakers overseeing Tennessee’s Race to the Top grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
“Tennessee’s education agenda has accelerated in recent years because of the shared commitment to improving education that has been developed among stakeholders including teachers, administrators, business leaders, philanthropy, and advocacy groups,” said Bredesen. “They play a vital role in helping Tennessee carry out the vision of a world-class public education system that prepares students for college, career, and life in the 21st century. The ongoing involvement of the groups represented by the First to the Top Advisory Council will help ensure we fulfill our Race to the Top goals.”
Bredesen created the Council to ensure the state is effectively implementing, evaluation and learning from the historic Race to the Top investment in Tennessee’s public school systems. The Advisory Council will:
• Provide strategic guidance on all aspects of the grant, including implementation, planning, and evaluation;
• Help communicate the bold First to the Top proposals in their communities, the state, and the nation;
• Promote sound decision-making by working with the First to the Top leadership responsible for executing the grant; and
• Ensure continuous alignment between the state’s reform plans and the ambitious goals to accelerate student achievement across Tennessee.
The Advisory Council will not direct grant funds, oversee programming, or supervise staff. The panel consists of elected officials, educators, leaders of stakeholder organizations, and representatives of philanthropic foundations – all of whom are deeply invested in Tennessee’s future. Those appointed to serve include:
• Dan Challener, Public Education Foundation
• Mayor Karl Dean, Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County
• Senator Bill Frist, Tennessee SCORE
• Tomeka Hart, Memphis City School Board
• Linda Irwin, Niswonger Foundation
• Gary Mabrey, Johnson City-Jonesborough-Washington County Chamber of Commerce
• State Representative Mark Maddox, Weakley and Carroll counties
• Al Mance, Tennessee Education Association
• Superintendent Jim McIntyre, Knox County Schools
• Gary Nixon, State Board of Education
• Colleen Oliver, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
• Superintendent Mary Reel, Milan Special School District
• Teresa Sloyan, Hyde Foundation
• State Senator Jamie Woodson, Knox County
Ex-officio member include officials from Tennessee’s Department of Education and Higher Education Commission. Representatives of national organizations with expertise in education, including Mass Insight Education, the Data Quality Campaign, Achieve Inc., the Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation, and Development, and the National Council on Teacher Quality will also serve as ex-officio members.

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