March 28th, 2016

Rural Education


  • The Door Is Always Open at Grassy Fork Elementary

    March 28th, 2016 by

    A consistent, high level of community engagement defines Grassy Fork, helping students complete their best work academically and maintaining a focus on student outcomes in the surrounding community. This small, rural school located in the mountains of East Tennessee has demonstrated tremendous growth over the last decade. A three-year partnership with the Niswonger Foundation starting in 2002 improved the school’s use of data and instructional differentiation. The results are noteworthy – middle school students, for example, score roughly 20 points above the state average across reading, math, and science and have shown strong growth on the three-year TVAAS measure.

  • SCORE Releases State of Education in Tennessee Report

    January 27th, 2016 by

    The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) today released the 2015-16 State of Education in Tennessee report and a list of five priorities that Tennessee should pursue in 2016 to sustain and accelerate recent student achievement gains. The nonprofit, nonpartisan education research and advocacy group compiles the state’s comprehensive annual report that examines recent successes and opportunities for improvement in K-12 education. The report outlines an agenda for the new year to help Tennessee achieve the goals of remaining among the fastest improving states for student achievement, closing achievement gaps for historically underserved students, and preparing all students for postsecondary education and the workforce.

  • My Trek to Tennessee Provides a Chance to Learn from Education Success

    July 6th, 2015 by

    “What brings you to Tennessee?” That’s the question I’ve been getting lately, as my Chicago accent gives away that I’m not a Nashville native by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve graduated from the George Washington University, and instead of staying in D.C. to work on education policy at a national level, I packed my bags, moved away from friends and family, and relocated to Nashville. I made this move because I wanted work locally, closer to the communities and people that education reform actually affects. I wanted to learn from people that already had some success in education, but still had challenges ahead.

  • Covington High Looks Beyond School Walls for College and Career Readiness

    June 11th, 2015 by

    2014 SCORE Prize winner Covington High School delivers results for every student, whether that means pairing qualifying kids with funds for college or paving direct pathways from high school to high-quality jobs.

  • Differentiated Instruction at Dresden Helps Students Achieve Their Best Work

    April 23rd, 2015 by

    In classrooms driven by creative, engaging, and differentiated instruction, educators at Dresden Elementary are helping students success by empowering them to set and reach personalized learning goals.

  • Westwood Elementary Supports and Challenges ELL Students

    March 25th, 2015 by

    Westwood Elementary, a 2014 SCORE Prize finalist, is a school that excels at providing innovative, whole-family solutions to student learning needs and has an excellent reputation for its work with English language learners.

  • What Higher Standards Would Have Meant for My Students

    July 24th, 2014 by

    After graduating from college, I spent two years teaching math at a high school in rural Mississippi. The experience was a rewarding one that invested me deeply in education, but it was also immensely frustrating, exhausting, and humbling. It wasn’t until I moved back to Nashville and began learning about policies and reforms taking place all over the country that I realized how valuable a common set of challenging standards and well-constructed assessments would have been for both me and my students.

  • SCORE Prize 2013: The Mt. Carmel Elementary Story

    December 27th, 2013 by

    Success at Mt. Carmel Elementary, a 2013 SCORE Prize finalist, starts with alignment and collaboration.

  • SCORE Prize 2013: The McPheeter’s Bend Elementary Story

    December 26th, 2013 by

    McPheeter’s Bend Elementary, a 2013 SCORE Prize finalist, is at the heart of rural Church Hill. School leaders have set a tone of collaboration and family, asking parents, students, and…

  • Standing Behind Tough Decisions When It’s Best for Kids

    December 20th, 2013 by

    Some of the most beneficial decisions we school leaders must make are seldom looked upon with praise and admiration at decision time, especially in a school district that is the…