Today, the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) released data from the most recent achievement assessment. Tennessee has been eager to see the latest scores in hopes that students would maintain the gains they’ve made since 2011. This is the first year we see more stagnated results in the state, however, these results mirror the national landscape of achievement for math and reading. While we celebrate the gains that we have made, we are also aware of persistent gaps between certain subgroups.
NAEP or “The Nation’s Report Card” is a national assessment that measures students’ competency in various subject areas and that is most commonly administered in 4th and 8th grade reading and math. NAEP provides a common measure of student achievement across the country by ensuring an assessment with the same questions and the same process of administration across all states. 2017 is the first year that the assessment was administered online.
NAEP Results For Tennessee 2017
2017 NAEP results show that Tennessee students’ performance holds steady across 4th and 8th grade reading and 8th grade math with a dip in 4th grade math. Overall, the percentage of Tennessee students scoring At or Above Proficient increased. The breakdown is as follows:
- Fourth-grade math achievements in the state has increased from 30 percent to 36 percent
- Fourth-grade reading achievement in the state has increased 26 percent to 33 percent
- Eighth-grade math achievement has increased from 24 percent to 29 percent
- Eighth-grade reading achievement has increased from 27 percent to 31 percent
In national rankings, Tennessee fourth-graders moved from 46th to 34th in math and 41st to 34th in reading. Eighth-graders climbed from 45th to 35th in math and 41st to 38th in reading.
Over the last few years, Tennessee has seen constant changes to education policies. In order to see continued gains in the future, Tennessee’s students and teachers now need stability and time to see the policy changes implemented with fidelity.
A Closer Look By Race and Ethnicity
4th Grade Mathematics
From 2015 to 2017, the number of Hispanic students that were at or above proficient decreased by 10 percentage points, and the number of Black students that were at or above proficient decreased by 3 percentage points.
4th Grade Reading
From 2015 to 2017, the number of Hispanic students that were at or above proficient decrease by 4 percentage points, and the number of Black students that were at or above proficient decreased by 2 points. Tennessee is one of two states showing a widening gap between White and Hispanic students in 4th grade Reading.
8th Grade Mathematics
From 2015 to 2017, the number of Hispanic students scoring at or above proficient decreased by 4 percentage points, and the number of Black students scoring at or above proficient increased by 3 percentage points.
8th Grade Reading
From 2015 to 2017, the number of Hispanic students scoring at or above proficient decreased by 3 percentage points, and the number of Black students scoring at or above proficient decreased by 2 percentage points.
A National Trend
Nationally, 2017 NAEP results for 4th and 8th grade math show major differences between the performance of high-achieving and low-performing students. Additional gaps persist across race, ethnicity, and income. For example, in fourth grade mathematics, the White-Black achievement gap has widened in four states (Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana), and the White-Hispanic achievement gap has also widened in four states (Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana, and New Mexico).
Our policy and research team will be digging deeper into the data released today, with a specific focus on the performance of students of color, economically disadvantaged students, and English Learners.
Explore the latest NAEP results. Here, you can browse or download the latest report cards, individual state and select district profiles, and access resources and online data tools that will enable them to view more extensive results, such as results by demographic groups.
See how Tennessee fairs in The Nation’s Report Card.