Since the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) was launched in 2009, Tennesseans have dedicated themselves to improving student achievement in our state. This commitment – in leadership, policy, and practice – has led Tennessee to a significant milestone. In 2013, the Nation’s Report Card confirmed that Tennessee is now the fastest-improving state in the nation in terms of student achievement. The gains Tennessee students have made have been significant and are unprecedented in our state’s history. However, work remains to continue on the path that will lead to all Tennessee students graduating high school prepared for their future.

This week SCORE released its report 2013-14 State of Education in Tennessee. This annual report provides an update on the efforts that have helped our students make this progress, as well as the opportunities for improvement in five key areas that are crucial to Tennessee’s work to improve student achievement in the year ahead. Now we want to hear from one of the most influential voices in these areas of improvement: students! And so, SCORE is proud to announce its third Students Rise to the Challenge Competition! We are inviting students in grades 3-12 to write a brief essay (500 words maximum) or create a video (3 minutes maximum) on one of the following topics:

  • • How is technology being used in your classroom to help you learn?
  • • What innovative things is your school doing to prepare you for college or your career?
  • • What do higher standards mean to you?

The submission deadline is Monday, February 10, at 5 p.m. Central. The video entries should be uploaded to YouTube, and students should send SCORE the submission form via email to Essays should be submitted via email with the submission form to

Submission Requirements

  • • Students must be in grades 3-12 in Tennessee public schools.
  • • Students must work individually—no group entries are permitted.
  • • Essays should not be more than 500 words.
  • • Videos should not be more than 3 minutes.
  • • Videos should not be professionally produced.

Selection of Winner

SCORE will select 10 semifinalists whose videos or essays will be posted on SCORE’s Facebook page for voting on February 13, 2014.

  • • Facebook voting will occur between February 13 and February 20, 2014.
  • • The three semifinalists with the most votes will be named finalists.
  • • SCORE will conduct interviews with the three semifinalists in order to select the winner.
  • • The winner will be announced Friday, February 28, 2014.
  • • One winner will be selected from each prompt.
  • • The three winners will be featured on SCORE’s website and win a $250 college scholarship.

You can help make a difference in improving education in Tennessee! We look forward to receiving your submissions!

2013 Students Rise to the Challenge finalist Alexis Bradby, winner Sarah Martin, and SCORE Chairman Bill Frist.
2013 Students Rise to the Challenge finalist Alexis Bradby, winner Sarah Martin, and SCORE Chairman Bill Frist.