SCORE works to improve student achievement in Tennessee. We advocate for critical policies that advance student success, convene and support state and local partners to advance a shared agenda, promote the implementation of promising practices that work, and foster and support strong networks of education leaders across Tennessee.

SCORE has set three bold student achievement goals with clear indicators of progress:

  1. Tennessee continues to be among the fastest-improving states in the country and ranks in the top half of all states in student achievement as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) by 2020.
  2. Tennessee closes all student achievement gaps – at every grade level and subject area — by income, race, geographic location, and student need. These gaps should be narrowing on both state and national assessments by 2020.
  3. Every Tennessee student graduates from high school prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. Postsecondary enrollment and degree attainment rates by 2020 should be supporting achievement of Tennessee’s Drive to 55.

SCORE believes three components are essential to achieving Tennessee’s student achievement goals.

Empowering People
Every classroom, school, and district must be led by passionate and effective teachers, principals, and superintendents. This requires Tennessee to better recruit, develop, and retain high-quality educators. These great people, in turn, need to feel equipped and empowered to engage with their communities to advocate for what they need to drive student success.
Insisting on High Expectations
Rigorous standards, accompanied by aligned, high-quality assessments, set the clear expectation that all Tennessee students are capable of high levels of achievement. High expectations set the foundation for all the progress we can make as a state.
Fostering a Culture of Innovation
A culture of innovation must extend from the system level through each school and classroom. The policies and resources that govern schools must create an environment where innovation can thrive. Educators must seek new ideas and embrace successful models wherever they are found.

Collaboration: We believe that effective collaboration leads to sustainable change. We recognize that our resources and abilities are only a small part of what is needed to help all Tennessee students reach their potential. Therefore, we believe that by partnering with others our ability to achieve impact is greater. We are mindful that we do not have all of the answers, and so we work to listen and learn with humility. Within our organization, we believe that collaboration is equally important. We know that excellent teams, composed of high-performing, flexible, and engaged team members can have an enormous impact on student achievement.

Optimism: We believe that all students in Tennessee can achieve at a high level when we provide the opportunities that they deserve. We believe that we can, in collaboration with our colleagues across the state, build systems that help our students achieve their potential. We are relentlessly student-centered in our decision making, prioritizing the needs of students over the comfort of adults.

Courage: We make hard decisions when they improve the academic achievement and life prospects of Tennessee students. We operate with a strong sense of possibility and look for paths to success in our own work. Our expectation and value of optimism and courage extends to our external partners as well.

Excellence: We hold ourselves and our partners to high standards for our daily work and for reaching our goals. We have high expectations of ourselves and value pushing and encouraging each other as team members to continuously improve. We actively seek and give feedback in an effort to improve outcomes for ourselves and the students we serve. We believe in the importance of continuous improvement and strive for a higher level of performance in all of our work. We approach our individual work with an enthusiastic and flexible attitude of “whatever it takes to get the job done – and done well.”

Innovation: We believe that many of the most difficult challenges in education can be solved through creative and innovative solutions. We are committed to identifying, cultivating, and spreading innovations that will accelerate our work to prepare students for college and the workforce. We do this work by identifying promising practices in the field and amplifying the voices of educators who are improving outcomes for students through innovative practices.