The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) today released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson on the announcement that Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman is stepping down.

Commissioner Huffman has been a leader in education in Tennessee during a challenging yet rewarding time – challenging because our state has made important changes that haven’t always been easy; rewarding because during his tenure Tennessee made historic progress toward the goal of all students graduating high school prepared for college and the workforce. Kevin’s leadership has been an important and meaningful part of these gains, which have made Tennessee the fastest-improving state for student achievement.

While we have made progress in Tennessee, our work remains unfinished. Tennessee’s next education commissioner will influence the difference between strong, early progress and a generational, historic shift in how Tennessee prepares students for success beyond high school. The student-centered priorities we have set as a state and the hard work of Tennessee’s teachers, policymakers, parents, and other partners are benefiting hundreds of thousands of students. It is critical that the next commissioner of education take the baton and build on the momentum we have in Tennessee.