SCORE Releases Yearly Education Assessment

Press Release from the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, March 24, 2011:

Frist: Tremendous Progress Has Been Made – Important Work Still Remains

(Nashville) – The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) today released its annual State of Education in Tennessee report. SCORE Chairman and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist presented the report during SCORE’s quarterly Steering Committee meeting of major education stakeholders from across Tennessee.

“To be economically competitive and increase job growth, Tennessee must improve its public education system,” said SCORE Chairman Bill Frist. “This annual report gives a comprehensive look at education reform in Tennessee, highlights innovative successes across the state, and gives clear recommendations and direction for improvement in public K-12 education. Tremendous progress has been made in the Volunteer State in the last year. But this report clearly shows that important work remains to ensure that every Tennessee child graduates high school prepared for college or the workforce.”

The report includes a Year In Review, outlining the significant progress that Tennessee made in education in 2010, and highlights four “Promising Practices” of innovative reform efforts in different regions of the state.

In addition, the report outlines four priorities that SCORE believes will be crucial to continued progress in 2011. These priorities include:

  • Sustained policy leadership in education reform from state leaders, including legislators, educators, and business and community leaders. These leaders must ensure that recent reforms are successfully implemented and push forward with other reforms, especially those related to more directly connecting the state’s new teacher evaluations system to hiring, tenure, and compensation decisions.
  • A comprehensive strategy for improving the pipeline of district and school leaders through the launching of a statewide initiative to create a network of high quality school leadership programs. These programs would recruit, train, and support highly effective school leaders.
  • A relentless focus on instructional quality by ensuring that there is an effective teacher at the front of every classroom. This requires connecting the state’s new teacher evaluation system to high-quality feedback and professional development opportunities, and by creating and expanding mentoring programs for new and low-performing teachers.
  • Increasing the capacity of the Tennessee Department of Education by aggressively recruiting high-quality staff to the Department, and strengthening the Department’s regional offices so they can support individual local districts in implementing reforms

“These four priorities are crucial to maintaining the historic momentum in education that Tennessee has experienced,” said Senator Frist. “They are based in the belief that successful implementation, and not just policy change, is critical to seeing real improvement in student achievement.”

The full report can be viewed here: http://www.tnscore.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Score-2010-Annual-Report-Full.pdf

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works with state and local governments to encourage sound policy decisions in public education and advance innovative reform on a statewide basis.