When I was growing up, America was a world leader in public education. However, over the last decade we have not been able to keep pace with the progress that other countries have been making. This is putting our students at a great disadvantage as they set out to compete in the real world.

Improving public education is critical to the future of America’s economy and America’s health. A nation whose citizens learn more can lead a healthier and longer life. In Tennessee, our schools have consistently underperformed other states across the country. This is particularly true for math, where our 4th and 8th graders rank 43rd and 44th respectively when compared to their peers nationally. This is not only a concern for Tennessee, but for our entire country. Results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that American 15-year-olds rank 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading when compared to their peers in other industrialized countries. Nationwide, our challenges in education are clear. Just over 74% of students graduate from high school and only half of those graduates leave prepared to succeed in college, career, and life, according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We can and must do better to remain competitive.

Tennessee gubernatorial candidates discuss education in forum (The Tennessean)

THE TENNESSEAN | On Tuesday night, Tennessee voters will have their first chance to hear from candidates running for governor on one of the most important topics for the future of our great state: Education. This first statewide forum featuring gubernatorial candidates from both political parties is being hosted by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE),…

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Supporting Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education

Betsy DeVos has been nominated for the next U.S. Secretary of Education, and I believe she is the best person for the position. I’ve known Betsy for many years, and I’ve seen firsthand her passion for education and for our children. Here is the letter I’ve just sent Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Committee on Health,…

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Tennessee Makes Huge Strides

In 2013, Tennessee’s progress on math and reading scores was considered a bright spot. Today, our students continue to excel and have made Tennessee the fastest improving state in science since 2009. On behalf of our team at SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education), I applaud our students and teachers for their tireless efforts to…

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Congratulations to the 2015 SCORE Prize Winners

All year long the State Collaborative on Reforming Education—SCORE—works with and for students, parents, and teachers in Tennessee and each October we have the privilege of dedicating an evening to recognizing the amazing progress they have made. I love that our annual SCORE Prize awards ceremony doesn’t just bring together administrators and policy makers in…

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Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind matters to Tennessee (The Tennessean)

THE TENNESSEAN | Tennessee teachers, parents and local education leaders know what’s best when it comes to educating our children. Federal education law has a powerful role to play in ensuring that our nation’s schools equip the next generation of global leaders, but only if the law is carefully crafted so that local expertise can be…

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Save the Children’s Insurance (New York Times)

NEW YORK TIMES | NO child in America should be denied the chance to see a doctor when he or she needs one — but if Congress doesn’t act soon, that’s exactly what might happen. For the past 18 years, the Children’s Health Insurance Program has provided much-needed coverage to millions of American children. And yet,…

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Tennessee at Crossroads: 2013-14 State of Education Report

When SCORE was launched in 2009, we identified a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for unprecedented growth in student achievement in Tennessee. In November, we have learned that the efforts of educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders have helped Tennessee become the fastest improving state in the nation – and 2nd overall behind the District of…

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Tremendous Step Forward for Tennessee’s Children

Today the state of Tennessee has taken a tremendous step forward for our children and our future.  The Volunteer State has made more progress than any other state in the nation across 4th and 8th grade reading and math. When I launched the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) in 2009, we noted that “several…

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Technology And The Changing Business Of Health Care

Three years after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare,” scholars and political pundits have paid much attention to the macroeconomic effects of the law. Will Obamacare bend the health care cost curve? What will be its impact on the federal budget deficit? How will it affect the…

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