Tennessee leaders celebrate improvements in math, science education

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- Governor Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen visited Mount Olive Elementary Thursday, touting improved national rankings in science.

Fourth graders moved up to 19th in the nation. Eight graders improved to 21st in the nation. That is according to what educators call the nation's report card.

"We know that a number of students who make a decision in college to go into a science field actually started by getting excited about science as early as second grade," McQueen said. "They were in experiences that say, 'you know what, I can do this work. I get excited about doing things that are engineering related or tech related.'"

The state is also closing the gap on science achievement between boys and girls as well as between white and minority students.