The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) today released this statement from President and CEO David Mansouri about Tennessee’s results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. 

Tennessee students performed slightly better on the Nation’s Report Card while much of the rest of the country saw declines. Tennessee students improved or held steady in every subject with a significant gain in fourth-grade math that has returned Tennessee to the top 25 states in this subject. Tennessee education has never ranked higher in the nation. Clearly, much of the work by Tennessee teachers and policymakers is helping students achieve more. 

But improvement is slower than we want, and we are not yet serving all students well. It is clear that more needs to be done – from the state level to the local level – to provide the support every student needs to learn. It’s time to show a high sense of urgency for the nearly two-thirds of students not reading on grade-level and for the students from low-income households, learning English, or with disabilities who are trying to catch up academically with their classmates. 

Tennessee has made faster gains in the past, and faster gains should be the goal for the future. To get there, Tennessee can build on the standards, statewide assessment, and accountability system that have produced significant gains since 2011, while pushing for bolder, bigger actions including in educator supports, rigorous instruction – especially in literacy – and the lowest performing schools.

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) believes all Tennessee students deserve success in college, career, and life. SCORE supports a unified and coordinated approach to education – from kindergarten through postsecondary – focused on helping all students complete high school and postsecondary education, earning the diplomas and credentials needed for a rewarding career. An independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan advocacy and research institution, SCORE was founded in 2009 by Senator Bill Frist, MD, former US Senate Majority Leader. SCORE measures success by the academic growth and achievement of Tennessee’s students.