Tennessee Students Continue to Make Gains

Thursday, June 25, 2015 | 12:38pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today announced Tennessee students made significant gains in all high school subjects and in the majority of subjects in grades 3-8.

High school scores on the 2015 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) continued to show strong growth for the third consecutive year, increasing in all seven tested subjects across English language arts, math and science. Since Haslam took office in 2011, 131,000 more students are on grade level in math, and nearly 60,000 more students are on grade level in science.

This year all individual grades and subjects showed gains in math, resulting in nearly 22,000 more students on grade level than last year. In particular, students continued to make meaningful increases in Algebra II. In 2011, less than one-third of students were performing at grade level in Algebra II. More than 54 percent of students in 2015 performed at or above grade level, nearly doubling the number of students meeting or exceeding the mark in this subject.

“Nothing is more important than getting education right. We are asking Tennessee students and teachers to do more than they ever have before, and the results continue to show growth,” Haslam said. “The scores also show us where we need to focus our efforts as we continue our work helping Tennessee students graduate high school, obtain a postsecondary degree and be successful in the workforce.

Black, Hispanic, Native American and economically disadvantaged students made gains in all high school subjects in 2015. Black, Hispanic and Native American students also made gains in both 3-8 math and reading, narrowing achievement gaps with peers. While high school students and seventh and eighth graders made gains in literacy, the state average in literacy declined in grades 3-6.

“We have seen reading scores remain relatively flat in early grades over the past five years, yet we know this is one of the most critical skills we can equip our students with for success in life,” McQueen said. “It’s our job to ensure that Tennessee students are prepared to take advantage of opportunities after graduation, and we must continue to find ways to support teachers in their efforts to reach all students.”

Complete results are available at www.tn.gov/education/topic/tcap-results-at-a-glance. For more information, contact Ashley Ball with Education at (615) 532-6260 or Ashley.M.Ball@tn.gov.