All the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average…

More than half the students in Tennessee public schools failed state tests last spring based on new proficiency standards,” reported Memphis, TN’s The Commercial Appeal. Individual student test scores will go out to parents in Hickman County and the rest of Tennessee within the next few weeks and warnings of disappointing scores are going out. Why were the standards raised? One reason was that in the global competition for jobs and economic development, our workforce is judged on global standards – not a standard we pick. Anyway, the standard is raised, it’s time for some to finger point and then hopefully we’ll point those fingers into our bootstraps and get to pulling. Some of the things in place to help the pull are Tennessee’s winning of one of the “Race to the Top” grants and SCORE, the State Collaborative of Reforming Education. SCORE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization chaired by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. SCORE’s mission is to work with state and local governments to encourage sound policy decisions in public education, and to advance innovative reform on a statewide basis.

About Daryl Phillips, CEcD

I am a professional economic developer. I presently work for communities and companies in developing and implementing workforce and economic development solutions as CEO of Phillips Economic Development Solutions (Phi EDS). Prior to September 2017, I was the economic development professional who served a community team of elected officials, business people, community leaders and dedicated stakeholders for economic development in Cheatham County, Tennessee (pop. 39,880) and its four towns. During my five-year tenure, I served the team as Cheatham County grew over 1,700 jobs, turned around population declines at the start of this decade into healthy population growth, increased tourism expenditures 20.3% and local tax revenue from tourism 25.4%, grew sales tax revenue 36%, focused on developing the local workforce and was recognized by SmartAsset as having the 9th highest Incoming Investment Index of all the 95 counties in Tennessee. I am a member of International Economic Development Council, Southern Economic Development Council, Tennessee Economic Development Council and International Council of Shopping Centers. I have earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from National Development Council and hold a Master of Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.
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