Assessment Says Tennessee Students The Fastest Improving In The Nation

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Governor Bill Haslam on Thursday announced that Tennessee had the largest academic growth on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) of any state, making Tennessee the fastest improving state in the nation. 

The NAEP results also show that Tennessee had the largest growth of any state in a single testing cycle since NAEP started nationwide assessments a decade ago.

“These historic gains are a result of years of hard work by a lot of people across Tennessee: our teachers, students, principals, superintendents, parents, lawmakers, school board members, business leaders, and many others,” Governor Haslam said.  “As a state we’ve come together to make education a top priority.”

The governor was joined for the announcement by former Governor Phil Bredesen, State Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, Wilson County Director of Schools Timothy Setterlund, Cicely Woodard, an eighth-grade math teacher at Rose Park Magnet Middle School in Nashville, state legislators, business and community leaders, and students, faculty and staff of West Wilson Middle School in Mt. Juliet where the event was held.

Commonly known as “the nation’s report card,” NAEP assesses 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 students’ combined growth on all four tests in 2013 exceeded the growth of all other states.  For data on Tennessee’s NAEP results, visit: http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_2013.

The state improved in overall national ranking in each of the four tests.  For fourth-grade students, Tennessee went from 46th in the nation in math to 37th and from 41st to 31st in reading.  Tennessee also had very strong growth for African-American students, and the state saw gains in overall results while significantly increasing the participation of special education students on the test.

“This administration’s goal has been to be the fastest improving state in the nation by 2015,” Commissioner Huffman said.  “We’ve asked a lot of our teachers and students, and they have delivered; they deserve the thanks for this progress.  Dramatically improving results for kids is hard work, but this is what hard work can do.”

House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh said, “This announcement is great news for Tennessee teachers and students. These gains are a testament to our public school professionals, who are doing a great job, despite continued attacks from this administration. With our public schools on the right path, Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Huffman need to make sure we stay on the path charted by Governor Bredesen. We can’t get side tracked with sending your tax dollars to private schools and taking away local control from our school boards. That is a recipe for undoing these positive gains.”

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) praised the assessment, saying, “Credit for this remarkable achievement goes to Tennessee’s hard-working teachers, parents, and governor. There couldn’t be any more important news for Tennessee, in terms of the future of our state.”

Senator Alexander, the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, added, “The national results deliver the disappointing news that only about a third of fourth graders are proficient in reading and math, and middle school students aren’t doing much better. The best way to help our 50 million children in 100,000 public schools learn what they need to know and be able to do is to fix that responsibility squarely where it belongs—on parents, teachers, communities and states.”

Senator Alexander, who previously served as Secretary of Education and as president of the University of Tennessee, this year introduced a proposal to fix No Child Left Behind that emphasizes state and local decision-making. 

“It puts Washington out of the business of deciding whether local schools are succeeding or failing,” he said. “It rejects the federal mandates that create a national school board, prohibiting the Education Secretary from prescribing standards or accountability systems for states.”

Senator Alexander introduced the “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act” with senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mike Enzi (R-Wy.), Pat Roberts (R-Ks.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Mark Kirk (R-Il.).

Tennessee has also seen three years of continuous growth on its state assessments, also known as the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP).  Since 2010, 91,000 more students are on grade level in math, and 52,000 more students are on grade level in science.



Volunteers Deliver Backpacks And Smiles To Local Students

More than 200 community leaders and volunteers devoted their Tuesday morning to personally deliver bright smiles and backpacks filled with school supplies to 5,800 students attending 10 Title 1 elementary schools located across Hamilton County. The students that received backpacks and school supplies attended the following schools: Bess T. Shepherd Elementary, Clifton Hills ... (click for more)

20 Tennessee Schools Awarded BlueCross Shape The State Grants Worth $10,000 Each

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has awarded Shape the State physical education grants to 20 Tennessee schools serving middle grades students. The schools awarded 2017 Shape the State grants are: • Charlotte Middle School, Charlotte • Forge Ridge School, Harrogate • Grace Christian Academy of Leipers Fork, Franklin • Hampshire Unit School, ... (click for more)

Stanley Postell, 23, And Teenager Injured In 2 Separate Shootings Tuesday Evening

Stanley Postell, 23, and a teenager were injured in two separate shootings Tuesday evening.   Chattanooga Police officers responded at 8:13 p.m. to a person shot at the  2300 block of Daisy Street .   Officers responded to a local hospital on a report of a shooting victim arriving at the emergency room. Officers were informed that Postell was in critical ... (click for more)

City Adds Amendment To ATV Noise Ordinance

The City Council on Tuesday approved the ATV noise ordinance, but added a new section. Since the ordinance was altered, the passage on Tuesday was still considered just the first reading. The second and final reading will be next Tuesday. Councilman Ken Smith had proposed the amendment. He said his son has an ATV, and he said they conducted a test. He said the son's ATV ... (click for more)

Equality Vs. Superiority

Many comparisons are being made about Neo-Nazis, White Supremacy and Black Lives Matter.  In order to compare, we assume these are equally comparable. The flaw comes here - Black Lives Matter strives to be equal, to be treated equally.  Neo-Nazis, The KKK, and White Supremacy groups believe they are the superior.  Make no mistake here, I grew up in an era of segregation. ... (click for more)

A Tale Of 3 Properties

Here in Lookout Valley on the far southwest edge of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, trees and rocks are plentiful but sidewalks are as rare as unicorns. It’s a land the governments forget – until tax collection time.  The recent county reappraisal spoke about ‘comps,’ recent sale prices of comparable local properties. But the assessors defined ‘comparable’ to suit themselves, ... (click for more)