By Kayla Carter
Fourth graders in Tennessee have climbed to a No. 37 national ranking in math and No. 31 in reading, but when it comes to how fast the state’s educational growth is improving, it is now considered No. 1.
Gov. Bill Haslam announced Thursday that, “Tennessee had the largest academic growth on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress of any state, making Tennessee the fastest-improving state in the nation.”
Fourth- and eighth- grade students were tested on their knowledge in reading and math for the 2013 NAEP assessment, which is also sometimes called “the nation’s report card.”
It was a record-breaking year for Tennessee, Haslam’s press release said, because the state also had the largest growth of any state in a single testing cycle since the assessments began. NAEP results have been used to compare education growth between all 50 states since 2003.
Carter County Schools Director of Federal Programs and Testing Jerri Beth Nave said there is no way to pinpoint how select local students performed on the NAEP test.
“It is, of course, given across the country,” she said. “It is administered in the same way everywhere. It is essentially used to just give state results. Local school districts actually get zero results for their district, so we never know how our individual students performed. Results are only released on a state basis.”
Still, Nave said changes on the state level, but more importantly local levels, have contributed to the hike in Tennessee’s educational growth.
With a tougher curriculum, Nave said the changes she has seen on the local level over the past few years have prepared the county to help boost the state to its current level of improvement.