NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman announced Monday Tennessee students made gains in the majority of the state’s 31 grade- and subject-level tests.
The biggest increases seen in the 2013-14 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program results were in high school, where students made gains on five of seven high school tests. The 2014 results mark the second year of strong growth in a row at the high school level.
Tennessee students have made significant and sustained growth in academic achievement in the past four years. More than 100,000 additional students are on grade level in math, and an additional 57,000 students are at or above grade level in science.
“Systemic change over time is hard work, but we continue to see evidence that shows our teachers’ efforts are paying off,” Haslam said. “The ultimate goal of our work is to send more students out of high school with higher skill levels, and [Monday’s] results show that we are making good progress.”
Tennessee teachers fully implemented the state’s new standards in math and English this year, and student scores held steady in grades 3-8, with slight gains in most areas. This year’s results showed improvement in math and science areas, with biology and algebra proficiency rates continuing to rise. In 2011 only 31 percent of Algebra II students were on grade level, and this year nearly 50 percent – more than 13,000 additional Tennessee students than in 2011 – reached that mark.
High school English scores grew considerably over last year’s results in English I and English II. The students on grade level in English II increased nearly 4 percent this year.
Additionally, achievement gaps for minority students narrowed in math and reading at both the high school and 3-8 levels.
Results continue to show the need for improvement in reading. The department trained 18,000 teachers this year on the state’s standards. Another 5,000 educators participated last year in reading courses offered by the department and its regional network of offices, Centers of Regional Excellence, and teachers across the state will have access to those classes again this year.
“The state assessment is not the only barometer, but it is an important way of looking at our work,” Huffman said. “What it shows is that we are teaching our students to read more closely and think more critically than ever before.”
Tennessee students will continue to take TCAP during the 2014-15 school year.
District- and school-specific scores are expected to be released later in July.