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From WMOT News

SCORE hopes to make education a top issue in Tennessee's 2018 elections


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A highly respected advocacy group has released a new list of education reform priorities for Tennessee, hoping to influence policy discussions during statewide elections next year.

SCORE, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, was launched in 2009 by renowned surgeon and former Tennessee Senator Bill Frist. The group has had an outsized influence over the state’s education policy reforms in the years since.

Tennessee will next year elect a new governor. All of the state’s House members and half of State Senators face reelection in 2018. Dr. Frist noted it’s the perfect time to push education reform back to the top of the agenda.

“The only way we’re going to make progress is have very knowledgeable leaders who can work with the education community and work with schools and work with teachers and work with advocates and make progress in the future.”

In his comments, SCORE President David Mansouri highlighted one of five suggested priorities going forward.

“We’ve done a lot of work in Tennessee over the last seven years to make sure there’s a great teacher in every classroom. We haven’t done enough to make sure there’s a great leader in every school, and so that is a critical area that we feel like there’s an opportunity for innovation and work.”

SCORE’s other priorities include additional teacher incentives, greater emphasis on reading and writing, stronger study track coordination with employers, and a concentrated effort to help at-risk students advance.

SCORE says it spoke with some 1700 Tennesseans to help focus its list of educational priorities.