SCORE Releases 2012-13 State Of Education In Tennessee Report

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) released on Tuesday, the 2012-13 State of Education in Tennessee report.

The report provides a comprehensive update of the state’s progress in improving student achievement, analyzes the work that has occurred over the last year that has contributed to achievement gains, and provides recommendations to ensure that Tennessee continues on the pathway of preparing all of our students for success in college and the workforce.

“Tennessee is marking the beginning of a dramatic turnaround in student achievement,” said SCORE Founder and Chairman Bill Frist. “The hard work of a broad range of partners has helped Tennessee’s students make the most academic progress in the state’s history. Much work remains in the year ahead to sustain and accelerate these improvements and ensure that all our students are graduating with the skills they need to compete in the global economy.”

The 2012-13 State of Education in Tennessee report identifies five priorities which focus on the actions SCORE believes must be taken to ensure that Tennessee continues its work to become the fastest improving state in the country. The 2013 priorities include:
  • Sustained Policy Leadership - Tennessee has made significant reforms in education over the past several years, reforms that have led to important early gains in student achievement. As the work has expanded from the removal of policy barriers to include implementation, the state must remain committed to ensuring reforms are effectively implemented.
  • Foster Great Teaching - 2013 should be the year when Tennessee ensures that the most effective candidates are teaching our students. To do this, we must make standards for teacher recruitment and licensing more rigorous.
  • Support Effective School Leadership - This area remains one of high priority in Tennessee. Specifically, school leader preparation programs should establish a rigorous selection process and curriculum requirements that prioritize the skills and knowledge instructional leaders need, and school districts should develop clear opportunities for teachers to serve in leadership roles.
  • Use Technology to Enhance Learning - Tennessee must develop a thoughtful, well-informed strategy to develop the technological capacity in schools and school districts.
  • Empower Parents - It is important to empower parents with the resources and supports they need to help their children succeed, particularly as the state raises the bar in the classroom through the Common Core State Standards.  This means that schools and districts must engage families in sharing data and setting goals for students.
The full report details specific recommendations in each priority area.

"These five priorities will be critical to sustaining and accelerating Tennessee’s work to improve student achievement in the year ahead,” said SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson. “All partners have a unique role to play in each of these priority areas. As the link between producing an educated workforce and creating jobs remains of critical importance, it is imperative that we continue on our pathway of improvement.”

To gauge additional feedback on the state of public education in Tennessee, SCORE also released Tuesday a statewide public opinion survey focused on a range of public education issues.  Highlights of the survey, which was commissioned by SCORE and conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research, include:

  • Tennessee voters strongly value public education and the need to improve student achievement.  In particular, voters view improving public education as the most important element of improving the state’s economy.
  • Eighty percent of voters strongly agree that to really get ahead in life a person needs at least some education beyond high school, whether that means university, community college, or technical or vocational school.  This is an 11-point increase over a similar question asked in a SCORE-commissioned survey in 2010.
  • Voters overwhelmingly support the state’s recent reform efforts.  As an example, 78 percent of voters support Tennessee’s new teacher evaluation system, support that is consistent across parties, regions of the state, and other demographic groups.  In 2010, only 40 percent of voters supported the state’s new evaluation system. This is an increase of almost 40 percent.
  • Tennessee voters believe in the importance of high expectations for all students. Almost six-in-ten voters say academic requirements for students in Tennessee’s public schools should be raised, while only 6 percent say standards should be lowered.  In addition, 68 percent of voters believe that increasing academic and graduation requirements in public high schools will better prepare students for further education and the workforce after they graduate.
  • Tennessee’s work to raise standards is grounded in the Common Core State Standards—a set of standards, developed by state leaders, that is designed to help prepare students for the workforce and college readiness. While the majority of Tennesseans have not heard of the Common Core standards, when given brief descriptions of the standards almost 80 percent favor them.
“These data are important because they show that Tennessee voters are receptive to change, they value public education and the work to improve student achievement, and Tennesseans support our state’s reform efforts – from raising academic standards to identifying and supporting great teaching,” Frist said.

The 2012-13 State of Education in Tennessee report can be viewed online here.

The report can also be downloaded here.

The statewide opinion survey results can be viewed here.

Dalton/Whitfield, Murray, Gilmer, Gordon, and Catoosa Counties Selected As An Early Education Empowerment Zone

Dalton/Whitfield, Murray, Gilmer, Gordon and Catoosa Counties were selected as one of Georgia’s four Early Education Empowerment Zones and will participate in a community commitment ceremony at 3 p.m. on Oct. 3 at Whitfield/Dalton Day Care Center, 515 South Pentz St. in Dalton.  The five counties will collaborate together in what will be known as the Northern Counties zone. ... (click for more)

Wanda Shelton Named Tennessee Superintendent Of The Year

The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents met in Gatlinburg, TN on Sept. 7 for the annual awards and recognition dinner. The 2015 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year was announced at the banquet on Sunday night. This year’s honor was awarded to Dr. Wanda Shelton, Lincoln County Schools, South-Central District. Dr. Shelton was named statewide Superintendent of ... (click for more)

Man Charged With Killing 3-Year-Old Takes Own Life In County Jail

Justin Dale Bradley died in the Hamilton County jail Saturday morning. Notification was received from the Hamilton County 911 Center at   12:50 a.m. ,   regarding an inmate found unresponsive.   Jail personnel found the male inmate unresponsive in his cell and initiated C.P.R. while notifying Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services. ... (click for more)

Democratic Chairman Roy Herron Announces He Will Not Run For 2nd Term

Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron announced Saturday at a meeting of the Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Committee that he would not be seeking a second term as party chairman. “I have been blessed to serve as chairman these past two years, and I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all of the executive committee members, party officials, staff members, and friends ... (click for more)

You’re Right With Lamar

One of Tennessee’s favorite sons, Davy Crockett, coined an oft-used phrase:  “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” Being sure is quite important, but may be difficult in this election cycle. The Democratic nominee campaigning against Lamar Alexander is a man whose radio ads call for “change,” “fair” taxes and more jobs.  Sounds good, huh?   ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Late Garden Walk

Due to a series of pressing events I didn’t get a chance to make my September walk through the garden until yesterday. It is normally my custom to take a stroll on the first day of each new month, looking for the orchids and onions that might appear, so I can award them to those among us who deserve one or the other. So before the temperatures drop, allow me to catch up: AN ORCHID ... (click for more)