Last week, the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education
(SCORE) released its State of Education in Tennessee report.
SCORE’s work in 2012 centers on four priorities: sustained policy leadership; robust professional learning for educators; strengthening teacher preparation programs; and expanding and strengthening the principal pipeline.
These priorities are centered on the need for strong leadership from educators and policymakers as Tennessee’s bold education reforms are implemented at the school level. They also tie directly to the idea that, by creating a pipeline of stronger, better-prepared and supported educators and school leaders, Tennessee will be more likely to meet the challenge of becoming the fastest-improving state in the nation in terms of student achievement gains.
The Chamber understands the importance of developing school leaders. Last year, we partnered with the Committee for Economic Development
(CED) in bringing national experts on human capital reform in public education to Nashville to speak to approximately 200 Chamber members and educators. The speakers all agreed that reform does not occur overnight, but the effects of shifting a school system’s organizational culture to expect and reward exceptional performance can have a profound impact on student success.
The Chamber’s 2010 Education Report Card
also included leadership development as one of the report’s main areas of study. The report encouraged Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) to create a more formalized system for leadership development and broaden its scope beyond principal identification.
These needs are being addressed by MNPS. The Achieving Student Success through Effective Teaching (ASSET) initiative is the district’s plan to attract, retain and reward outstanding teachers in Metro Schools. By taking deliberate steps to develop outstanding teachers and educators, MNPS has demonstrated that it is committed to improving student learning through strong school leadership.
Because school leadership is such a critical piece of improving our education system, we commend SCORE – particularly SCORE’s founder, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson – for taking the lead on this important work at the state level.