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1 Jul 2021

Research and Policy Senior Policy Analyst

Tennessee SCORE

Job Description


Tennessee has been making significant progress in advancing a bold education reform plan over the last decade and is now a leader in the nation in dramatically improving student achievement. Tennessee is among the fastest improving states for student achievement according to the Nation’s Report Card.

While Tennessee has made significant gains, there is much still to do – in public K12 education, in college and career readiness, and in postsecondary completion. The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) plays a critical role in advancing student achievement, aligning K12 and postsecondary, and ensuring that all students can achieve career and life success. We work to monitor statewide progress in support of a prioritized agenda that drives collaboration across the state on policy while generating proof points and providing targeted support for implementation across the state.

SCORE is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan organization founded by former US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and is dedicated to the goal that that all students can achieve success in college, career, and life. SCORE supports student success in public schools across Tennessee by ensuring all schools and systems meet high expectations; preparing, recruiting, supporting, and retaining excellent teachers and leaders; and aligning K-12 and college with career and life success.

SCORE is based at Vanderbilt University’s John Seigenthaler Center. This role is eligible for hybrid work with the expectation of 15-20 hours per week in the office and the balance remote. For more information on SCORE, please visit


SCORE’s Senior Policy Analyst will play a critical role in supporting the organization’s work and Tennessee’s efforts to improve student achievement. The Senior Policy Analyst will support SCORE’s efforts in 1) assessing where, how, and why statewide reforms are – or are not – meeting the ambitious goals that Tennessee has set for student growth and achievement; 2) supporting SCORE’s policy analysis work to inform policy change, advocacy efforts, and implementation support; and 3) proactively anticipating and assessing ways of overcoming barriers to reform. This position requires an independent, state-driven strategic thinker who is also able to work in close and productive collaboration with SCORE colleagues. The Senior Policy Analyst will report to SCORE’s Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations.


• Work with SCORE team members to provide strategic thought leadership on education policy issues and priorities affecting Tennessee
• Support the development of a K-12 and postsecondary policy agenda as a member of the SCORE Policy and Government Relations team
• Analyze and comment on current and potential policies, legislation, rules, and guidance that could impact policy goals.
• Lead and manage the analysis of key education legislation filed in the Tennessee General Assembly and prepare bill summaries for distribution both internally and externally, providing timely and thorough analysis of these proposals
• Monitor, summarize, and analyze policy proposals from regulatory boards, commissions, and other state agencies, providing timely and thorough analysis of these proposals
• Monitor meetings of the State Board of Education, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, legislative committees, and other relevant state policymakers, and attend as needed
• Manage comprehensive K-12 and postsecondary policy projects from concept to release, including: outlining project vision, building project plans, analyzing data, analyzing policy, reviewing education research, making policy and practice recommendations, and presenting findings through written reports and public presentations
• Work closely with SCORE’s Senior Policy Associate to ensure alignment across SCORE’s K-12 to postsecondary strategy
• Identify emerging national policy best practices and consider how those policies could fit the Tennessee context
• Serve as a thought partner and policy support for SCORE team members during advocacy and outreach campaigns and legislative session
• Collaborate with communications, educator engagement, and strategic practice teams to share policy developments to stakeholders
• Fulfill quick policy requests from SCORE’s leadership team and other team members
• Contribute regular posts to the SCORE blog


SCORE is looking for an analytical and driven individual with a passion for improving education in Tennessee. The Senior Policy Analyst must have demonstrated experience in education policy (two to three years preferred) and must be able to work in close and productive collaboration with SCORE colleagues. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree in public policy is preferred. Other candidate requirements include:

• Deep knowledge of major K-12 and postsecondary education policy issues at both the state and federal level
• The ability to review and analyze education policy proposals with an eye towards positive impact on Tennessee students and the ability to be adept at turning policy ideas into legislative and policy proposals
• Mindfulness around how to advance student-focused policy in particular political contexts
• The ability to proactively identify policy trends, identify gaps in the field, and activate an appropriate policy, research, or implementation response
• Excellent written communication skills with the ability to convey complex concepts in concise and compelling ways
• High emotional intelligence and understanding of political nuance
• Strong spoken communication skills and comfort speaking to both large and small groups
• Outstanding commitment to excellence and attention to detail
• The ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously in a fast-paced, rapid-growth, high-
intensity, and intellectually demanding environment
• The ability to problem solve in the moment and pro-actively consult with other team members as appropriate
• Deep alignment with SCORE’s core values of student-focus, collaboration, optimism, excellence, and innovation

SCORE is committed to providing opportunities for professional growth by providing team members with feedback and opportunities to grow in their work.


SCORE offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience.


SCORE deeply values team members and their wellbeing and is proud to offer a comprehensive benefits plan. All full-time SCORE employees are eligible for benefits, including:
• Medical insurance, including access to a high quality network with SCORE paying for the majority of medical coverage costs; dental insurance options; vision insurance options; employer paid disability, life insurance, and EAP benefits; access to Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) benefits.
• After one year of service, all full-time team members are eligible for participation in a 401K program with employer match.
• Paid parental leave time, including paternity, maternity, and adoption leave, available after six months of service.
• Paid time off, holiday office closures, and paid floating holidays.
• Free on-site parking.


At SCORE, we are committed to creating a workplace where all team members bring their whole selves to work and thrive both personally and professionally. We deeply value collaboration, optimism, excellence, and innovation in our student-centered work and in how we work together and support each other as a team. We also believe that it is important for our team to reflect the rich diversity of students in Tennessee, and that we intentionally create space for diverse viewpoints to meaningfully contribute to our work.

SCORE is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic or status.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete the application at this link by 5:00pm Central on July 19, 2021.

Bureaus: Tennessee. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Research and Policy.