Social media is amazing, not just for the ability to connect us in real time, but also for the living history that we create as we interact with one another. 2013 was a banner year for public education in Tennessee.

From the announcement of 169 Department of Education Reward Schools in Tennessee to the declaration of our state as the fastest-improving state in the nation as measured by The Nation’s Report Card, good news came in droves. Still, lagging ACT SCOREs showed that higher standards are needed and passionate conversations have been ongoing for months around Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards. Nevertheless, the facts are persistent: voters and educators support Common Core and the standards will raise the bar for student performance, better preparing young Tennesseans for college and career. Finally, for the third year in a row, SCORE was thrilled to present the SCORE Prize to three schools and one district doing the most to improve student outcomes in Tennessee.

Please take a few minutes to review SCORE’s year in social media, reflect on the amazing progress made, and prepare for the year to come. There will undoubtedly be headwinds as we continue to fight for what’s right for the students of Tennessee, but seeing the progress made over the past year shows the power of perseverance and the amazing results that come when we stay focused on student achievement.