November 07, 2011
A group from Nashville flew to Southern California this past week to join more than 700 other educators from across the country to participate in the 15th annual National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) conference. Among its many resources, NCAC confers national certification upon “model academies” after a rigorous, external review process. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) expects several of its academies to be the first in the district to try for NCAC certification in early 2012.
The conference represents an excellent opportunity to learn from other school districts and communities, and most of the Nashville delegation consisted of principals, assistant principals or teachers who are relatively new in their academy roles. Given Nashville’s rising national stature in the academy movement, several in our group led sessions sharing some of our best practices and “lessons learned.” Jay Steele and I provided a district-level overview of the Academies of Nashville. MNPS administrators Aimee Wyatt and Jill Flaherty showed participants how an academy team should analyze school-level student data to drive improvement. Leaders at McGavock High School brought one of their major business partners to the conference, CMT, to talk about how they grew their partnership by overcoming barriers that sometimes exist between education and business. CMT executives also talked about how a business can add significant value to an academy by hosting teacher externships during the summer.
When we weren’t busy learning or sharing, we were actively promoting our city and the Academies of Nashville. That’s because the 2012 conference will take place November 8-11 at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Nashville. We’re looking forward to next year’s gathering and showing educators across the country our ambitious and innovative approach.
Marc Hill - Policy
National Career Academy Coalition
Academies of Nashville