Tennessee: Still The Fastest Improving State

Tennessee has remained the fastest improving state in education since 2011. This exciting news reflects our steadfast commitment to high levels of achievement for all Tennessee students.

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NAEP, the nation’s report card, provides a common yardstick of what American students know and can do in key subject areas, and its main assessments in reading and math are given every two years to fourth and eighth graders.

Tennessee’s national ranking improved both in 2013 and 2015, with Tennessee now rising to 35th in the nation – jumping nine positions in those four years.

Tennessee’s rankings also increased in three out of the four tested areas. In a year where states nationwide struggled with fourth grade math, Tennessee’s students stayed the course, improving the state’s overall ranking to 25th in that area, up 12 spots from 2013 and putting Tennessee in the top of half of states for the first time in any subject or grade.

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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. These results show we have already cleared that bar in fourth grade math, and they underscore the importance of focusing on literacy.

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The results also note key areas for improvement: lower literacy scores for fourth grade reading and persistent achievement gaps. Earlier this month, we announced a new strategic plan, Tennessee Succeeds, that outlines strategies in five priority areas, including early foundations and literacy as well as all means all.

Encouragingly, students with disabilities showed growth in three out of four areas. While scores did not increase in fourth grade reading, scores remained constant; they did not decrease.

For additional data on Tennessee’s NAEP results and more information about the national data, visit: http://nationsreportcard.gov/.

Most importantly, these results highlight that the hard work of Tennessee’s school leaders, teachers and students is paying off. Thank you all for your dedication as we work together to prepare students to successfully embark upon their chosen path in life.

Watch a video from Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Candice McQueen thanking Tennessee teachers their hard work. Click here to see their video message.