While Tennessee’s scores on what is known as the Nation’s Report Card in education remained the same, the City Paper notes 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.
Note: News release below
News release from state Department of Education:
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Education today released the state’s results from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the Nation’s Report Card.
Although there was no statistical change in Tennessee’s scores in fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math–the four subjects tested this year–a greater number of states have made improvements, pushing Tennessee farther down in national rankings. The state dropped from 45th to 46th in the nation in fourth-grade math; 39th to 41st in fourth-grade reading; 43rd to 45th in eighth-grade math; and 34th to 41st in eighth-grade reading. Twenty-six 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, and 24 percent are proficient in math.
The results must serve as a call to action, Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said.
“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.”
Students in Tennessee took NAEP between January and March of 2011. A representative sample of students from schools across the state is chosen to take a portion of the test. Because the same test is administered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, NAEP is a way to accurately compare academic progress across the nation.
For more information on NAEP scores in Tennessee and across the country, visit http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.