Oct 30, 2019 by

Nashville, TN — The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – also known as the Nation’s Report Card – are out.  Tennessee, like most states, did not show a significant change in overall results in most tested areas of NAEP.  

“Like any other test, I am careful about reading too much into the results,” says JC Bowman, Executive Director of Professional Educators of Tennessee. “There are many factors that contribute to a high-quality public-school system: performance, funding, safety, class size, quality of educators, and community support to name a few. NAEP is just one snapshot” according to Bowman.

NAEP Results Graph

Some Key Findings:

  • Tennessee saw scale score improvements across every grade and content on NAEP in 2019
  • 4th grade math showed statistically significant growth from 2017.  
  • Despite our large achievement gap for Black students, Tennessee serves these students better than most states.
  • Tennessee’s most underperforming student groups are lower income (free/reduced lunch eligible) students, Hispanic students, and English language learners. 

Tennessee may want to compare outcomes to states with similar demographics, rather than just our border states, according to Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn. States she identified with similar population demographics are Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri and North Carolina.    
Bowman added: “Researchers will keep analyzing data, conducting state to state comparisons, and searching for trends. In the end, Tennessee did not see statistically significant changes and remained steady. We will continue to work with stakeholders and policymakers to make sure Tennessee has a supportive environment for public education, as well as the best schools in the nation.”   

J. C. Bowman is the Executive Director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, a non-partisan teacher association headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

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