College of Education hosts first SCORE conference on rural education
By Janel Shoun on 7/15/2011
SCORE (The State Collaborative on Reforming Education) held its first Southeast Regional Rural Education Summit on the Lipscomb University campus on July 19-20.
|SCORE Chairman Bill Frist Sr. speaks at conference.|
|Dean McQueen (second from left) speaksona panel.|
|Twenty-one sessions were held during two-day conference.|
Lipscomb’s College of Education worked with SCORE to host the conference and develop some of the 21 sessions to be held for teachers, administrators, policymakers and advocates for education in Tennessee, said Candice McQueen, dean of the College of Education.
Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, chairman of SCORE, and McQueen kicked off the conference, designed to highlight best practices in rural public education, influence regional and national education policy and improve rural economic development in the Southeast.
Later in the conference, Crissy Haslam, the First Lady of Tennessee; John White, deputy assistant secretary for rural outreach at the U.S. Department of Education; Kevin Huffman, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education; and John Morgan, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, were among the many experts from throughout the Southeast who participated in panels and sessions.
More than 400 people from inside and outside of Tennessee registered to attend. Lipscomb University College of Education students could attend the conference for free.
SCORE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization chaired by Frist. Its mission is to work with state and local governments to encourage sound policy decisions in public education and to advance innovative reform on a statewide basis.
“Because we are in Nashville, we sometimes forget that most of Tennessee is rural,” said McQueen, who will also be participating on a panel about teacher recruitment and retention, “so it is critical that we focus our educational discussions around rural issues like developing a college-going mindset and college readiness. Thus, it made sense to hold the conference on a college campus.
“The conference will center around what resources are available to rural schools, what research shows about how to educate in rural counties, and how to improve the motivation and resources for students to attend college,” she said.
Rural education experts and advocates from throughout Tennessee and the nation participated in the sessions, including Gina Kunz from the National Center for Research on Rural Education; Gene Bottoms, senior vice president of the Southern Regional Education Board; and Doris Williams, the executive director as well as the director of the capacity building program at Rural School and Community Trust.
The summit will result in the “Roadmap to Improving Rural Education,” which SCORE and its summit partners will release following the event that outlines the needed steps to significantly improve rural education throughout the Southeast.