“We never believed it was acceptable for Tennessee to be ranked in the bottom five to 10 states in the country in education. And we don’t believe today that we should be below the national average. But what we have seen is that change is possible. Our students can grow. It’s happening in Tennessee, and it can happen all across our nation.”
--Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, November 9, 2013
In recent years, Tennessee has made significant progress in advancing a bold education reform plan, and is a leader in the nation in efforts to dramatically improve student achievement. Tennessee reached a significant milestone in 2013; according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, also known as the Nation’s Report Card): Tennessee is the fastest improving state in the nation in student achievement across 4th and 8th grade reading and math, following only the District of Columbia. In 2015, Tennessee continued that progress and is now ranked in the top 25 of states in 4th grade math. While Tennessee has made significant gains, students still score below the national average.
Since 2009, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) has played a critical role in advancing student achievement. SCORE is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan organization founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, based at Vanderbilt University’s John Seigenthaler Center, and dedicated to the goal that every student in Tennessee graduates from high school prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. SCORE works to drive collaboration across the state on policy and practice to ensure all students graduate high school prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. We support student success across Tennessee by insisting on high expectations for what students can achieve, empowering people to lead the change for our students, and fostering a culture of innovation. For more information on SCORE, please click here.
SCORE’s Director of Policy and Research (DPR) plays a critical role in advancing the organization’s work and Tennessee’s efforts to improve student achievement. The Director leads a team of individuals in assessing where, how, and why statewide reforms are – or are not – meeting the ambitious goals that Tennessee has set for student growth and achievement, and by proactively identifying and assessing ways to overcome barriers to reform through state policy and practice. Specifically, the DPR will 1) take a leadership role in developing SCORE’s annual policy agenda, 2) serve as a leader, partner, and trusted voice in statewide education policy discussions with stakeholders, 3) design, develop, and manage policy and research projects, reports, and initiatives to advance SCORE’s policy agenda and theory of change, and 4) manage and lead the organization’s talented Policy and Research team to execute these projects.
Key responsibilities for the Director of Policy and Research position include, but are not limited to:
Leading SCORE’s policy and research efforts:
Ensuring SCORE’s advocacy, policy, and communications efforts are informed by research and best-practice:
Serving as a statewide expert on key education reform policy topics:
The Director of Policy and Research will report to SCORE’s President. The Policy and Research team that the Director will manage includes a Senior Policy and Research Analyst, a Policy and Research Analyst, and at least two graduate policy and research fellows.
SCORE is looking for an innovative, inquisitive, intellectually curious, and experienced policy leader with a passion for improving education in Tennessee and across the nation. The Director must have a track record of managing and coaching a team of diverse individuals and be able to work in close and productive collaboration with SCORE colleagues and with public officials, policy leaders, and educators at the local, state, and national level. Above all, this leader must also have a commitment to equity and excellence for all students.
Additionally, the successful candidate will bring the following experience to the role:
Additionally, the successful candidate will possess the following skills:
Additionally, the successful candidate will reflect the following attributes:
Compensation will be competitive based on the candidate’s previous experience and credentials and will include SCORE’s robust package of benefits.
The executive search team at Bellwether Education Partners is leading the search. Inquiries and applications, comprising a resume and letter of interest, should be sent to: Crystal Combs, Senior Consultant, at email@example.com.
Bellwether Education Partners is a nonprofit dedicated to helping education organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors become more effective in their work and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students. Our Talent Services practice identifies, places, and supports education leaders through comprehensive executive searches, customized search advisory services, and individual coaching. We also partner with clients to build talent-ready organizations where diverse teams can work, develop, and thrive.