Tennessee students' scores soar on "nation's report card"

MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The results are in... and Tennessee students are improving faster than the kids in any other state.

On Thursday, Gov. Bill Haslam announced the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). He said the state posted the largest academic growth in the nation.

In fact, Tennessee's gains were the biggest of any state in a single testing cycle since the NAEP started testing a decade ago.

“This administration’s goal has been to be the fastest improving state in the nation by 2015,” Huffman said. “We’ve asked a lot of our teachers and students, and they have delivered; they deserve the thanks for this progress. Dramatically improving results for kids is hard work, but this is what hard work can do.”

In a statement, Haslam explained the test, which is commonly called the "the nation's report card," tests fourth and eighth-grade students in reading and math.

Tennessee students improved on all four tests. Among fourth-grade students, they jumped from 46th to 37th in math and from 41st to 31st in reading. Haslam pointed out the state showed strong growth among African-American students. The overall gains also included a significant increase in participation by special needs students.

“These historic gains are a result of years of hard work by a lot of people across Tennessee: our teachers, students, principals, superintendents, parents, lawmakers, school board members, business leaders, and many others,” Haslam said.

“As a state we’ve come together to make education a top priority,” he added.

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