SCORE, along with the Ayers Foundation, Niswonger Foundation, Rural School and Community Trust, and Tennessee School Boards Association, kicked off the Southeast Regional Rural Education Summit this past Tuesday. 500 attendees, 14 breakout sessions, and 786 tweets using #ruralsummit later, the Summit concluded. As one attendee remarked, “Excellent; great discussion; now it’s time to get to work.”

During panel discussions, breakout sessions, and casual conversations over meals, attendees identified challenges facing rural communities, highlighted best practices from across the Southeast, and shared solutions that will help improve student achievement. These conversations will inform a Roadmap to Improving Rural Education that SCORE and our partners will release in the coming week.  The document will have a specific goal: to spell out the action items that each stakeholder in rural education needs to accomplish to improve the quality of rural education and transform our rural communities.

For two thorough overviews of the Summit, check out Mike Morrow’s story at TN Report: SCORE Conference Accents Connection Between Education, Economic Growth; as well as Diette Courrege’s Education Week blog posts, including Final Thoughts on Regional Rural Ed Conference.

Highlights, including photos and videos from the conference are below: