Dear Friends,

The beginning of a new year always brings hope. For the diverse partners in education, a new year is a fresh opportunity to dream big on behalf of Tennessee students and to resolve again to follow through on the work we have begun to prepare every student for success in college, career, and life.

When we think of what it will take to achieve our dream of preparing all students for their future, we see both much to do and much to gain. Reflecting on the achievements and news in 2014, we saw notable gains for our students on the ACT, another year of progress in proficiency on our state assessment, and the selection of Dr. Candice McQueen to lead the Tennessee Department of Education. These moments help provide perspective for the year that lies ahead.

Most inspiring, though, is to think about the students who are impacted by the decisions Tennesseans have made and the plans teachers, parents, and other partners have carried out over the last several years. To help us keep focused on what matters most – the success of Tennessee students – SCORE has recently released this video recap of 2014. Please take a few moments to watch, and I hope you will be inspired anew.

In 2015, we will be reminded that that the work to dramatically improve student achievement is hard work – some might say too hard. This video reminds us that we are raising the bar in the classroom, supporting great teaching, and inspiring strong education leaders. We do this work because the futures of our students and our state depend on it. Thank you for your enduring support of teachers, students, and parents and best wishes for a bright and prosperous 2015.

Very truly yours,

Jamie Signature 4-2014