Tennessee Dropout Prevention Summit

Summit Location:
Nashville Convention Center
601 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37203



Over 200 leaders participated from ten school districts across the state with the highest 3-year average drop out rates. Speakers included Assistant Commissioner of Education, Ralph Barnett; Volunteer Tennessee Board Chair, Rick Kriesky; America’s Promise Alliance President and CEO, Marguerite Kondracke; Civic Enterprises CEO, John Bridgeland; AT&T Tennessee President, Gregg Morton; State Farm Operations Vice President for the Mid-America Zone, Steve Aguilar; State Farm Youth Advisory Board member, Cynthia Villamizar, Jobs for the Future Program Director, Terry Grobe; Everyone Graduates Center Senior Policy Analyst, Joanna Fox; Williamson County Middle College High School Principal, Harold Ford; Learn and Serve America Acting Director, Elson Nash; and Governor Phil Bredesen. The leaders from the ten school districts met in breakout sessions in the afternoon to discuss next steps. Each district identified three key next steps during the report outs after the breakout sessions.

Tennessee's Dropout Prevention Action Plan

Progress Since the Summit

• The Tennessee state summit, held during the pre-conference session of the National Service-Learning Conference, focused on the ten (10) school districts with the highest dropout rates over the previous three years. A targeted invite list was developed to reach people from various sectors who may not have been as involved or aware as needed, particularly from the nonprofit and business communities.

• The primary follow-up and planning expected after the summit are local summits in most of these 10 high-need communities. The state planning committee, which included State Farm and AT&T representatives, dedicated $10,000 of the Alliance grant to offer $1,000 mini-grants to these communities to support their summits. 7 of the 10 applied for funding, and most summits are planned to take place in the fall of 2009.

Local Summits:
Davidson County - October 30, 2009 - Nashville, TN
Cannon County - October 31, 2009 - Woodbury, TN
Knox County - November 14, 2009 - Knoxville, TN
Hamilton County - November 18, 2009 - Chattanooga, TN
Monroe County - November 19, 2009 - Madisonville, TN
DeKalb County - December 1, 2009 - Smithville, TN
Memphis City Schools - December 8, 2009 - Memphis, TN