Our History

ayers announcementEstablished in 2012, as a partnership between the Ayers Foundation and Lipscomb University’s College of Education, the Institute was initiated as a result of Dean Candice McQueen’s vision for creating a high-quality clearinghouse for best practices coupled with exceptional learning opportunities and professional training to support and develop our best teachers and leaders across the state, especially in more challenged areas. The institute also seeks to incubate and develop new instructional practices that best support student outcomes and have the potential to become scalable. The institute was made possible by the generous $1 million initial gift from Jim and Janet Ayers. The president of the Ayers Foundation, Janet Ayers, is a known reform-minded philanthropist who supports initiatives that have immediate impact for teachers and the students in the state of Tennessee.

The Ayers Institute was created upon the following principles:

  • Education reform should be guided by research in global best practice in education.
  • Best practice requires implementation with fidelity, on-going research on effectiveness, and a continuing quest for improvement and innovation.
  • Teachers and leaders are KEY to education reform and achievement in schools.
  • Students can make significant achievement gains when teachers implement research-based best practices.