During its first 10 years, SCORE has been singularly focused on what’s best for students and tirelessly advocating for their needs. That mission has only grown and deepened following our merger last June with Complete Tennessee. Our advocacy now encompasses the entire education spectrum, moving beyond the K-12 space to include postsecondary access and success for Tennesseans.
By 2025 about 55 percent of jobs in the state will require a postsecondary degree or certificate, but currently about 43 percent of Tennesseans have earned such a credential. According to the Ready Graduate measure, only about four in ten Tennessee students are ready for college or a career after high school graduation. These numbers underscore the urgency of our work.
After SCORE convened the Future Ready Summit in 2018, we came away strengthened in our resolve to ensure that all Tennessee students find successful pathways to succeed in life. To cement relationships begun at that summit, we launched the Classroom To Career newsletter, a monthly compilation of news highlighting efforts to reimagine college and career readiness — from looking at suggestions to improve the high school experience to examining ways to improve outcomes for rural students in Tennessee. The newsletter also spotlights national news of how other states are approaching issues in their communities in hopes that these stories can inform our local advocacy efforts as we work to create seamless, student-focused alignment in Tennessee.
To better advocate for students and inform our partners and friends about this broader work, we have some exciting news regarding the Expect More Achieve More initiative, which began as a way to inform Tennesseans about high expectations in the classroom and using assessment to measure progress. Because the Classroom To Career moniker more fully captures the spirit of what we hope to accomplish, Expect More Achieve More has made the transition to Classroom To Career, a strong advocacy voice focused on Tennessee students and what they need to succeed in college, career, and life.
Classroom To Career will champion what’s best for students, and I look forward to the opportunities of this exciting new chapter of our work. From improving early literacy to addressing college accessibility to closing equity gaps that hold some students back, we will be leading the charge for Tennessee students. I hope that you will join us on the journey.
If you’re not a subscriber, sign up today to receive the monthly Classroom To Career newsletter in your inbox, and be sure to follow Classroom To Career on Twitter and Facebook at @ClassToCareerTN. Let’s work together to build a community of citizens who are successful in their careers and thriving in their communities. Over the last 10 years, Tennessee has incrementally increased outcomes for our students. We now stand at a crossroads of opportunity to provide our kids with the best possible future. Won’t you join us in making it happen?
Senator Bill Frist is the founder and chairman of SCORE.