Frist Statement on Race to the Top

NASHVILLE — Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who chairs the education-reform group Tennessee SCORE, today issued this statement following news that Tennessee is a finalist in the federal government’s groundbreaking Race to the Top competition:

“Tennessee’s spot as a finalist confirms what we’ve known:  The Volunteer State is poised to move farther, faster in public education reform than any other state in the nation.  Governor Bredesen, the General Assembly, and stakeholders including the TEA are to be commended for their bipartisan work in positioning us for success.  Thanks also to Secretary Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education for recognizing the extraordinary opportunities that exist here.  Statewide, the education-reform community stands ready to help make sure that Tennessee is ‘first to the top.’”

The Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes education innovation.  In October 2009, SCORE released “A Roadmap to Success,” a report outlining comprehensive strategies for improving Tennessee schools.  Many of the strategies were adopted in January’s special legislative session on education reform.

SCORE is used as Case Study in National Report


Tennessee SCORE is a case study in a new Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network report, “The Race to Reform: How Education Reform Advocates are Leveraging Race to the Top,” which tells the stories of state advocacy groups with an “outsized” impact on public education policy. The report opens with a description of SCORE and the collaborative process that supported passage of Tennessee’s First to the Top Act, a sweeping bipartisan overhaul of the state’s education reform law. Happy ending to the story – at least for now – is that Tennessee is one of 16 Race to the Top finalists.