TN schools have highest growth rate on 'Nation's Report Card' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

TN schools have highest growth rate on 'Nation's Report Card'

(WMC-TV) - Record gains are being made in the Mid-South when it comes to fourth and eighth grade reading and mathematics achievement. It is a milestone so impressive that Governor Bill Haslam came to Shelby County to personally congratulate students.

Governor Haslam showed up at John P. Freeman Optional School bearing treats to celebrate a new report that shows Tennessee students are leading the nation in academic growth.

"And I'm proud to be here today to announce, as the cake says, that Tennessee is the fastest improving state in the nation when it comes to education results," he said.

It is known as "The Nation's Report Card," the National Assessment of Educational Progress assesses students in fourth and eighth grade reading and math.

Tennessee students had the largest growth of any state from 2011 to 2013, with a 22-point growth across all subject areas.

"That's a phenomenal achievement," added Haslam.

For fourth grade students, Tennessee went from 46th to 37th in math and from 41st to 31st in reading. The report does not provide a county by county performance breakdown.

"We'll have more breakdown later but we know we can't have made these strides without significant progress here in Memphis and Shelby County," explained Haslam.

The governor says in addition to overall gain in numbers, African-American students had an even higher percentage on their growth score.

The next closest state was Indiana with a distant 15-point growth. State officials attribute the increase to Tennessee's improvement to education reforms and a tougher teacher evaluation process.

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