Tennessee Students Still The Fastest Improving in U.S. Since 2011
Fourth Grade Math Scores Rank in the Top Half of States – Tennessee’s Highest Ranking Ever
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Tennessee students are still the fastest improving in the nation since 2011 according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as the Nation’s Report Card.
Tennessee also rose to the top half of states in fourth grade math, ranking 25th – the first time Tennessee has ever ranked in the top half of states in any subject or grade.
“Tennessee is distinguishing itself as the state to watch in education, and today’s announcement is a testament to all of the hard work put in day to day by our educators and students,” Haslam said. “There is no doubt that we’re asking more of teachers and students than ever before, and they are delivering. Four years ago we committed to becoming the fastest improving state in the nation in academic growth. Students showed incredible progress in 2013, and this year a new set of fourth and eighth graders proved the gains our students have made are real.”
The NAEP tests assess students in fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math. All 50 states have taken NAEP since 2003, and the results are regarded across the country as the best way to compare educational outcomes across states. Tennessee improved in overall national ranking in three of the four tests. In a year where there were national declines in math, Tennessee students held steady. In eighth grade math, the state ranked 37th, up from 43rd in 2013, and the state jumped four spots from 2013 to 30th in eighth grade reading. The results noted key areas for improvement: lower literacy scores for fourth grade reading and persistent achievement gaps.
“Our students are on track to meet our ambitious new goal: for Tennessee to be in the top half of all states in all subjects on NAEP by 2019,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “These results show we have already cleared that bar in fourth grade math, and we’re on track in other grades and subjects. These results also underscore the importance of focusing on literacy, so our students can compete with their peers across the country.”
Later today, Haslam will celebrate Tennessee’s progress at Riverwood Elementary in Memphis, along with McQueen, Shelby County Superintendent Dorsey Hopson, parents, teachers, and students. For additional details about Tennessee’s education goals for the future, visit http://www.tn.gov/education/topic/strategic-plan.
For data on Tennessee’s NAEP results and more information about the national data, visit: http://nationsreportcard.gov/. For more information, contact state Department of Education communications director Ashley Ball at (615) 532-6260 or Ashley.M.Ball@tn.gov.