BLOUNTVILLE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and other top state officials thanked Holston Middle School teachers and students Friday for the state’s academic growth on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Haslam, a Republican, is billing the NAEP results as Tennessee showing more growth of any state in a single testing cycle since the organization started nationwide assessments a decade ago.
The achievement is viewed by the Haslam administration as validation of the state’s move to ramp up K-12 standards and expectations. Among the reforms on his watch has been connecting test scores to teacher evaluations.
“It’s a really significant achievement,” Haslam said of the NAEP results during his visit at the school. “We’re incredibly grateful to our teachers, principals and other school leaders who have made this happen.”
In what is called “the nation’s report card,” NAEP assesses students in fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math. For fourth-grade students, Tennessee went from 46th in the nation in math to 37th and from 41st to 31st in reading. Tennessee also had very strong growth for African-American students, and the state saw gains in overall results while significantly increasing the participation of special education students on the test, according to Haslam’s administration.
Read more on this story in Saturday's print edition of the Times-News.