(NASHVILLE) The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) released the following statement from Executive Vice President David Mansouri on the release of the 2013-14 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program(TCAP) statewide results:
Today Tennessee educators, policymakers, and parents received more detailed information to help decide where to focus our efforts in the year ahead so our students can continue to be national leaders in academic achievement gains, as they were on the 2013 Nation’s Report Card.
As Tennessee’s teachers have risen to the challenge of higher expectations in the classroom and transitions in education policy, TCAP gains over the past four years show their hard work is delivering results. This year, for example, Tennessee students continued to make outstanding progress in high school mathematics. The fastest growing industries in Tennessee require a solid knowledge in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and this academic improvement means more students will be ready for college and the workforce.
The results also make clear that the state must bear down on helping students make progress in reading, particularly in elementary school. In recent focus groups SCORE conducted across the state, elementary educators said they are seeing their students make advances in reading. We look forward to digging deeper into the statewide results, and the district results that will be released in the coming weeks, to better understand the difference between what educators see in the classroom and the TCAP numbers.
Today’s results in math and reading/English provide important and actionable information but come with an asterisk because the current assessments are not able to completely measure the skills emphasized by Tennessee’s standards, which are now fully implemented. Tennessee educators across the state have said in SCORE’s focus groups and to policymakers that simply multiple-choice assessments do not give students an opportunity to truly show what they know. Tennessee teachers and students critically need an assessment that offers interactive questions, short response items, and extended written response. A better, aligned assessment will give teachers, parents, and ultimately students more precise information about our academic progress.