The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) today announced the 12 finalists for the fifth annual SCORE Prize. The SCORE Prize recognizes the elementary, middle, and high schools and school districts that are leaders in student learning in Tennessee.

The 2015 SCORE Prize finalists are:

Elementary schools
• Andersonville Elementary School, Anderson County Schools
• Delano Optional School, Shelby County Schools
• Dresden Elementary School, Weakley County Schools

Middle schools
• Grassy Fork Elementary School, Cocke County Schools
• KIPP Academy Nashville, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
• New Vision Academy, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

High schools
• Covington High School, Tipton County Schools
• Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
• The Soulsville Charter School, Shelby County Schools

• Dyersburg City Schools
• Johnson City Schools
• Trousdale County Schools

“The SCORE Prize finalists are a diverse group of schools and districts, and each finalist is distinctive in how it is approaching the challenge of bringing higher academic achievement to students,” SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson said. “What each finalist has in common is the belief that, with the help of dedicated educators, all students can learn. Every day the people in these schools and districts go to work ready to rise to the challenge of preparing each student for success in the next grade and in life after graduation.”

SP logo 2015The SCORE Prize is the hallmark data-based effort in Tennessee to recognize public schools and districts that have demonstrated significant and sustained academic achievement. Among this year’s finalists are traditional, magnet, and charter schools; rural, small town, and urban schools; and schools and districts in all regions of Tennessee.

The SCORE Prize will award $10,000 to each elementary, middle, and high school winner and $25,000 to the district winner. Winners and finalists also are highlighted throughout the year as part of SCORE’s work to identify and share practices that are improving student academic performance.

The SCORE Prize selection process is guided through two steps by a committee of educators and community partners. In the first step, finalists were identified through a weighted criteria selection process that took into account three years of performance on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program and the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS). The selection data for high schools and districts also included three years of college-readiness information, including ACT results, graduation rates and college-going rates.

The second stage of SCORE Prize selection will consist of site visits to the finalists to document the policies and practices that have enabled them to make significant gains in student achievement.

The winners of the SCORE Prize will be announced at 6 p.m., Monday, October 26, in the Laura Turner Concert Hall at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. The event will be hosted by SCORE Chairman and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and will highlight the outstanding work of the finalists. Musician and actor Charles Esten, who stars as Deacon in ABC’s Nashville, will provide a special musical performance.

Tickets for the SCORE Prize event are free. Visit the SCORE Prize website to reserve a seat and learn more about the program and past finalists and winners.

More details on the performance of the finalists.

Here are some additional details on the performance of the finalists:

• Andersonville Elementary serves nearly 350 students in grades PK-5. Andersonville students score well above the state average on reading, math, and science and have shown strong gains across the subjects over three years. Andersonville also has narrowed achievement gaps.

• Delano Elementary is a technology option school in Memphis that serves approximately 225 students in grades K-5. Delano students have made strong gains in math and science over the past three years and score well above the state average in both math and science.

• Dresden Elementary serves nearly 500 students in grades PK-4 in northwest Tennessee and was the elementary school SCORE Prize winner in 2014. The school has made strong gains across reading, math and science over the past three years and narrowed achievement gaps in reading, math, and science.

• Grassy Fork Elementary serves roughly 100 students in grades K-8 and about 30 students in grades 6-8 in a very rural area of East Tennessee. Middle school students at Grassy Fork score roughly 20 points above the state average across reading, math, and science and have shown strong growth on the three-year TVAAS measure.

• KIPP Academy Nashville is a public charter school serving roughly 350 students in grades 5-8, and the school was a SCORE Prize finalist in 2014. KIPP students outperform the state average in reading, math, and science, and the school has shown strong growth in math and science over the past three years.

• New Vision Academy is a public charter school in Nashville serving more than 175 students in grades 5-8. New Vision has experienced strong gains over the past three years across reading, math, and science. Student scores in science are more than 10 points above the state average.

• Covington High serves nearly 750 students in grades 9-12 in West Tennessee and was the SCORE Prize high school winner the previous three years. Covington’s students have made strong gains in English II and tremendous gains in Algebra I and II over the past three years. The school also has narrowed achievement gaps while raising algebra proficiency rates.

• MLK Magnet, a middle and high school, serves approximately 800 students in grades 9-12 in Nashville. Nearly 100 percent of the high school students score proficient or advanced on endof-course exams in English II, Algebra I and II and Biology. MLK boasts a tremendous college-going culture – students have an average ACT score of 25.8 over three years, 100 percent of students graduate high school within four years, and more than 90 percent go on to college.

• The Soulsville Charter School serves close to 600 students in grades 6-12 in Memphis. Students at this public charter have made noteworthy gains in Algebra I and II as well as strong gains in English II and Biology over the past three years. Almost 80 percent of students have gone on to college over the past three years.

• Dyersburg City Schools serve roughly 2,800 students in northwest Tennessee. The district has made strong gains over the past three years in math, Algebra I and Algebra II. Dyersburg’s three-year average ACT score is 20.5, more than 1 point above the state three-year average. The district has a roughly 60 percent AP exam pass rate and nearly two-thirds of Dyersburg’s graduates have gone on to college over the past three years.

• Johnson City Schools serve nearly 8,000 students. The district has made strong gains over the past three years in Algebra I and Algebra, and district scores are more than 15 points above the state average in reading and English II. The district has closed achievement gaps for almost all subjects and has an AP exam pass rate of about 75 percent.

• Trousdale County Schools serve nearly 1,300 students at 3 schools in rural Middle Tennessee. The district was the 2013 SCORE Prize winner. The district’s three-year average graduation rate is 97 percent, and over the past three years it has outperformed the state by roughly 20 points in math and Algebra I and II.