Ford, White House Officials, and International Educators to visit Academies of Nashville next week

Just two months after the President’s historic visit to Metro Schools, with his endorsement of the Academies of Nashville still ringing in Nashville’s ears, White House officials are making a return trip. Roberto Rodriguez, one of President Obama’s top education advisors, is coming to Nashville Tuesday, April 1, joining hundreds of educators from across the country as they tour the high school Academies. Rodriguez will also make a policy speech about national high school redesign, which is expected to build on themes the President explored in his State of the Union Address and his speech at McGavock High School January 30.

“Hosting another White House official in Nashville is an honor,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “It’s gratifying to know the work we’re doing here to improve our students’ preparation for college and career could spread to other school systems and help position American education firmly in the 21st century.”

Immediately after the tours, the leaders of Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) will make a major announcement about a new honor for and significant new investment in the Academies of Nashville, courtesy of the Ford Motor Company Fund.

“The Academies of Nashville has proven itself time and again as a model of innovation, leadership and competence in fulfilling the promise of Ford NGL,” said Cheryl Carrier, executive director, Ford NGL. “Nashville’s success in redefining the high school experience has helped dramatically improve educational outcomes such as graduation rates and college participation.”

“Educational leaders are searching for innovative ideas to transform schools and engage students,” said Jay Steele, Metro Schools’ chief academic officer. “They want to learn from our successes and mistakes by talking with teachers, principals, and students in order to formulate plans for their own schools.”

Replication will be the recurring theme all week as principals, public school administrators, and Board of Education representatives from all over the United States tour Metro high schools, take part in group discussions, attend seminars and listen to speeches centered on the high school redesign model here in Nashville. This is the ninth such study visit organized by Metro Schools, Alignment Nashville and Ford NGL. Since late 2011, more than 1,000 of America’s public education leaders have come to Nashville to learn about the Academies. This visit promises to be the biggest yet. Nearly 300 people have registered to attend, almost double the previous attendance high.

“People who come to Nashville to see our high schools leave with a vision for their own community and an inspiration to drive success for their students,” said Sydney Rogers, executive director of Alignment Nashville. “That is what a model community is all about. This week more than 280 people will be here to see how we do it.”