NASHVILLE — The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) has issued this statement from President and CEO David Mansouri on Tennessee’s 2022 results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

Today’s NAEP results confirm that Tennessee has experienced a significant decline in student learning, and we are still in the early stages of supporting our students’ academic recovery. 

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, is a critical benchmark of student progress in fourth and eighth-grade reading and math that allows us to measure our progress over time as well as to compare how we are doing to the rest of the nation and our neighboring states. 

Together with results from our Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP), we have used data from the NAEP assessment for the last 15 years to drive improvements and interventions for students in our state. Today’s results once again give us an opportunity to better understand where we are and which students need the most support in the months and years to come.

As SCORE continues to analyze the NAEP results, an initial scan of the data elevates the following takeaways:

  • Tennessee, like the rest of the nation, saw declines across all grades and subjects.
  • The performance of Tennessee students remains closely aligned to the national average, with proficiency rates within 1-2 points.
  • Black students saw declines in proficiency rates, exacerbating existing achievement gaps that now range from 20 to 34 percentage points.
  • There were some bright spots for Hispanic students in fourth grade, who made gains in both math and reading. Though narrowed, achievement gaps for those students remain large, averaging around 16 percentage points.
  • Achievement gaps for low-income students persist in both reading and math, with more than a 20-percentage point gap in proficiency between economically disadvantaged students and their non-economically disadvantaged peers.

These data show us that students across the state, and particularly students from historically underserved groups, have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. As a state, we’ve identified key strategies to support student recovery, such as a comprehensive approach to improving early literacy, implementing high-dosage tutoring, and expanding summer learning opportunities. These are the right interventions, and now we must commit to implementing these strategies with quality, consistency, and for all students.  

Tennessee is in the first quarter of our efforts to recover from the effects of the pandemic. We have the right playbook as a state, and now we have to execute on the plays that research shows are most likely to improve student learning.