TCAP results show continued improvement for TN students - WSMV Channel 4

TCAP results show continued improvement for TN students

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

Education officials say students have continued to perform better on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program since the state implemented more rigorous standards nearly four years ago.

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said Thursday that students across the state performed better on the TCAP tests this year than last year, marking three consecutive years of steady improvement.

Since 2009, he said more than half the students in third through eighth grades are on grade level in every TCAP achievement subject.

He said they reached higher levels of proficiency this year on 22 of 24 tested subjects than last year.

Tennessee became one of the first states to win national Race to the Top funding in 2009 and immediately began using the funds to implement tougher standards for students.

Students were most proficient in social studies. Since 2010, scores in the subject have grown 4.9 percent with nearly 85 percent of students proficient.

Science gains are even more impressive, with 10.7 percent increase in proficiency since 2010.

However, math is really the biggest change, as scores have jumped 16.1 percent.

The gains are more modest in reading, with only a 5.5 percent change over the last three years and only

a 0.4 percent gain this year, and that's really an area of concern for education leaders.

"We haven't done enough in providing high-quality professional development for teachers in reading, and that's been a huge point of emphasis for this summer and for the coming year," Huffman said. "And my hope for the coming year is that we'll be standing up here saying math continued to grow really fast and reading grew just as fast as math."

While Tennessee students are making overall gains, this coming school year is the last year for the TCAP tests before moving to tests that align with the new common core standards.

Education leaders say it's really important to make big gains this coming year.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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