Tremendous Step Forward for Tennessee’s Children

Today the state of Tennessee has taken a tremendous step forward for our children and our future.  The Volunteer State has made more progress than any other state in the nation across 4th and 8th grade reading and math.

When I launched the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) in 2009, we noted that “several factors are coming together to create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that could lead to unprecedented growth in student achievement within Tennessee.”  We outlined an ambitious plan for the state in our Roadmap to Success report that brought together key education stakeholders around four pillars of work – great teaching, high standards, strong leadership, and utilizing data to enhance learning.  And, we said we would monitor our progress by looking at key data, including 4th and 8th grade reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam.

Today, NAEP released the 2013 Nation’s Report Card and the results are significant – Tennessee students grew more than students in any other state, making Tennessee the fastest improving state in the nation.  For example, in 4th grade reading, Tennessee jumped from 41st to 31st in the nation.  In 8th grade reading, we went from 41st to 34th.

There is certainly more work to be done, and we are ready for the challenge. But this growth means a big step toward a brighter future for our students and continued economic growth for our state.  It means that the goals we set for SCORE in 2009, while bold, are being achieved through steadfast, student-focused, and collaborative leadership.  It means Tennessee students are making dramatic academic improvements.

On behalf of SCORE, I must congratulate and thank our teachers, students, parents, business leaders, and elected officials – from Governor Bill Haslam to members of the Tennessee legislature – on a job well done.  Your passion and dedication are paying meaningful dividends.  Our hard work is paying off in what really matters – student success!


statement from SCORE

A great chart comparing net score increases and declines across the nation.

A graph of Tennessee’s progress from 2005-2013

Washington Post’s coverage of the NAEP scores

Tennessean’s coverage of NAEP scores

The Commercial Appeal’s coverage of the NAEP scores

New York Times coverage of the NAEP scores