Other states leapfrog Tennessee in national academic progress

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 5:57pm
Staff reports

While Tennessee’s scores on what is known as the Nation’s Report Card remained the same, the performance of other states improved, dropping the volunteer state’s national ranking.

The Tennessee Department of Education on Tuesday released its results in the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, showing no statistical change in fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores.

The state dropped from 45th to 46th in the nation in fourth-grade math; from 39th to 41st in fourth-grade reading; from 43rd to 45th in eighth-grade math; and from 34th to 41st in eighth-grade reading.

Also according to the results, 26 percent of fourth-grade students are proficient in reading, and 30 percent are proficient in math. Twenty-seven percent of eighth-grade students are proficient in reading, while 24 percent are proficient in math.

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said the results must serve as a call to action.

“The reality is that in today’s world, if you stand still, you get passed,” Huffman said. “It’s not good enough to not go backward, or improve only slightly — we want to be the fastest-improving state in the nation.”

Tennessee’s results also show that economically disadvantaged students in neighboring states such as Kentucky, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas and North Carolina now score higher in every tested area than do poor students in Tennessee.

Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, encouraged educators and state officials to continue the important reform work already begun in Tennessee.

“We have an educational emergency. These results underline the urgency of pressing forward with the necessary reforms,” Schulz said. “If we’re going to ensure the future economic prosperity of our state, we can’t go back — we have to step up.”

6 Comments on this post:

By: dogmrb on 11/1/11 at 4:55

NAEP has been telling the truth on TN a long time. The TN ad MNpS politicos have just used other smoke and mirror' measures to further their own agenda.

By: Shadow63 on 11/1/11 at 5:37

Having an educated population restricts the behavior of government.

By: govskeptic on 11/1/11 at 6:19

Proficiency in math for both 4th and 8th graders about 34%!
English at about the same number for both grades! Disgraceful.

In a separate study of Tn colleges supplying the best teachers.
It appears if your child has a teacher with a David Lipscomb
teaching certificate you are in luck, if however, that is a TSU
graduate then not so lucky. TSU does dispute these findings!

By: artsmart on 11/2/11 at 5:27

Until Administrators and parents are held responsible as well nothing will change.
I'm not sure if that will change because of politics and political correctness. No one in a position of leadership currently has the stones to do the right thing. We just saw what happened to the vouchers. Competition normally improves a situation, this State does all it can to avoid competition because their croonies would then be accountable. Just try looking at the websites for successful school systems throughout Country and look at our schools. Plenty of information for parents and children about programs and opportunities to improve. Our are little more that legal info and basic info. We live in a State that good enough is good enough.

By: anjnew on 11/2/11 at 11:46

I understand politics plays apart in our education system but so does parent involvement. I live in Mt. Juliet and our schools are awesome. Mt Juliet High School was ranked #1 academic high school in the state of TN, this is due to parent and admin involvement. Without parent involvement you have failing schools.

By: smiless on 11/9/11 at 12:33

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