Governor Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman announced Tuesday that the biggest increases seen in the 2013-2014 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program results were in high school, where students made gains on five of seven high school tests.
"This was the second year in a row we have seen particularly strong growth in high school," Huffman said.Haslam said only 31 percent of Algebra II students were proficient in 2011, but this year's tests showed nearly 50 percent of students are proficient. He added that's statistically significant, citing the fact that only top students took the course in 2010; now, all students must take it.
TCAP scores are used in the calculation of final grades for students primarily in grades 3 through 8.
According to the results, student scores held steady in those grades, with slight gains in most areas.
The one area where improvement continues to be needed is in reading. Students this year were 49.5 percent proficient, compared to 50.3 percent last year.
Huffman explained that thousands of teachers are receiving training that they hope will be reflected in future results. Next school year, there will be an effort to identify struggling students earlier in the year so they can recieve additionial help.
The achievement gap for minority students narrowed in both math and reading for grades 3-8 along with high school.Officials said approximately 100,000 additional students are on grade level in math compared to 2010. Additionally, 57,000 students are on a grade level in science since 2010.
The Education Department said in April that the scores would be delayed because of a change in assessments but decided to release them after experts signed off on the validity and accuracy of the results.
Two Republican Tennessee lawmakers have asked for an investigation into why the delay was considered, and three Democrats have filed an open records request seeking information about the proposed late release.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)