NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Thursday, the State Collaborative On Reforming Education (SCORE) released its 2023 education priorities at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville.

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) formed SCORE when he was in the legislature, back in 2009.

“What if we could redesign how our schools and our colleges and our industry worked together as one? Everyone at the table focused on that one problem,” Frist said.

SCORE is an organization aimed at bolstering education in Tennessee.

“Data really helped us land on the belief that we really, as a state, can do more to really weave how K-12 education and post-secondary education prepare students for work,” said David Mansouri, SCORE president and CEO.

The organization revealed its three key goals this year:

  • Advance high-quality instruction for every student
  • Address Tennessee’s college-going decline with urgency
  • Prepare all Tennessee students for work

SCORE laid out its plans Thursday to achieve those goals. One way the organization aims to accomplish the first bullet point—Advance high-quality instruction for every student—is to grow Tennessee’s teacher pipeline. The state’s struggles at hiring and keeping teachers employed amid the pandemic have been well-chronicled.

The other big point SCORE reiterated several times was the need to push postsecondary education.

“Currently, there are 400,000 job openings in Tennessee,” Frist said.

Mansouri followed up a few minutes after Frist. “We know that the majority of new jobs in Tennessee require some kind of postsecondary education.”

The announcement saw Frist, Mansouri, and a panel of people, speak on the subject—including House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland), who stressed the need to meet students where they are.

“Every one of these children that are coming out of high school and every single adult has a different entry point in the educational system and a different exit point,” he said. “So, the goal is to get them the best job and career they can get, and then when they’ve got it, it doesn’t stop there.”