(Nashville) – The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) tonight announced the four winners of the 2012 SCORE Prize during an event at the historic Ryman Auditorium. The winners – three schools and one school district – were recognized for dramatically improving student achievement. The prize event, attended by educators, parents, students, and other stakeholders, included remarks from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, SCORE Chairman and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman, SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson, and video remarks from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The evening concluded with a performance by award-winning singer/songwriter Phil Vassar.

“Our ultimate goal is that every student graduates from high school prepared for college and the workforce,” SCORE Chairman Bill Frist said. “These schools and districts are proof points for what works in making progress towards that goal. This is a night to celebrate the success of teachers, principals, administrators, parents, and most importantly, students.”

The 2012 SCORE Prize winners are:

• Elementary: John Sevier Elementary, Maryville City Schools

• Middle: Rose Park Math and Science Magnet, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

• High: Covington High School, Tipton County Schools

• District: Hamblen County Schools

“The stories of these schools and districts are inspiring,” said SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson. “These winners represent diverse areas across Tennessee, and all are faced with different and unique challenges. The SCORE Prize is an opportunity for all of us to share their stories of success.”

The SCORE Prize awards $10,000 to the elementary, middle, and high school and $25,000 to one district in Tennessee that have most dramatically improved student achievement. Winners were chosen in a two-step process. The first stage identified finalists through a weighted criteria selection process that took into account TVAAS growth and TCAP improvement. This process also factored in attendance rates and socioeconomic status. College-readiness data, such as ACT and college-going rates, were considered for high schools and districts. The second stage consisted of site visits to the finalists to document the policies and practices that have enabled them to make significant gains in student achievement.

About the Winners

  • John Sevier Elementary, part of Maryville City Schools, serves 548 students in grades PK through 3. Fifty-five percent of the school’s students are economically disadvantaged. The school’s three-year TVAAS growth average is 9.1 in math and 7.6 in reading, meaning John Sevier is helping its students make significant gains in these subjects. Between 2010 and 2012, the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged and non-economically disadvantaged students has narrowed by 7.1 percentage points in reading and 22.9 points in math.
  • Rose Park Math and Science Magnet, a non-selective magnet in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, serves 395 students in Nashville in grades 5 through 8. The school is 61 percent economically disadvantaged. The school’s three-year TVAAS growth average is 5.7 in math and 2.0 in reading. The school has made significant progress in narrowing achievement gaps between various racial and economic subgroups. Most significantly, the achievement gap between black and white students narrowed by 11.4 percentage points in reading and 16.2 percentage points in math between 2010 and 2012.
  • Covington High School, part of Tipton County Schools, serves 790 students in grades 9 through 12. Seventy-two percent of the school’s student population is economically disadvantaged. The school has significantly contributed to its students’ performance on the Algebra I End of Course exam, posting a three-year average TVAAS SCORE of 50.7. Between 2009 and 2010, the school’s college going rate increased 10 percentage points to 63 percent.
  • Hamblen County Schools serves 9,615 students in East Tennessee. Sixty-two percent of the district’s students are economically disadvantaged. The district’s three-year TVAAS growth average is 13.9 in Algebra I, meaning the district is helping its students make great gains in this area. Thirty-nine percent of the district’s high school students are enrolled in AP or IB courses, and the district has a 61 percent pass rate on AP exams.

In addition to the SCORE Prize winners, Rolanda Mack, a junior at Covington High School, was chosen as the “Students Rise to the Challenge” winner. The competition invited students from across Tennessee to write essays about the innovation happening in their classrooms. Finalists were selected through a Facebook poll. Mack, who read her essay during the Prize event, wrote about Deborah Walker, her dance and drama instructor, saying that, “a teacher who doesn’t give up or lose faith in you, but instead guides you, motivates you, then watches as you grow, is what every student should find in every teacher.”

In the coming weeks, SCORE will release videos and in-depth case studies of all 12 SCORE Prize finalists. This work will be used throughout the year to highlight best practices in improving public education in Tennessee.

To learn more about the 2012 winners and finalists or the Prize selection process, visit www.tnscore.org/scoreprize.