Statewide TCAP Results Show Continued Progress
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Education officials said students have continued to perform better on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program since the state implemented more rigorous standards nearly four years ago.
It's been three years since Tennessee earned the Race To The Top Grant, a commitment to overhaul education.
"We knew when we started this, somebody said this is going to be a marathon and not a sprint," Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam recalled.
For the first time since that pledge, more than half of students in 3rd through 8th grade are on grade level and high school students are showing steady gains in science and math.
"This obviously is not our work at the state Department of Education," Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said. "This is the role up of the hard work of thousands of teachers and principals and Superintendents."
The news comes during the release statewide TCAP results. Not only are thousands more students proficient, the gaps between poorer students and their peers are closing. So are some of the gaps between African American, Hispanic and Native American students when compared to their white counterparts.
"I think principals and assistant principals are providing more feedback to teachers," Huffman said about the progress made. "I think we're seeing more focus on kids who are struggling and are farther behind."
State leaders recognize there are many more miles in this marathon towards progress.
"While reading scores are up, they're not going up fast enough," Huffman said.
In response, the state plans to put more emphasis on teacher training which include new intervention techniques and getting students to write more in class.
"We've got to intervene for students with disabilities, students who are in special education earlier and not have them fall so far behind in the process," Huffman added. "I think that's a big point of emphasis for the coming year."
The TCAP results provide a snap shot of the progress and students are another step closer to making the grade.
At the end of July the state will release the scores for individual districts.
For more information: http://tn.gov/education/tcap_results13.shtml.