Tennessee Releases Complete 2017 District and School TNReady Results

Thursday, October 19, 2017 | 7:46am

NASHVILLE — Education Commissioner Candice McQueen released all of the 2017 district- and school-level TNReady results today (link), highlighting that high school students showed across-the-board growth in all subject areas. All TNReady results have been finalized for the 0.1% of assessments where the performance level changed due to scoring issues.

These scores are the first complete set of results for TNReady, which is a more rigorous assessment that is aligned to Tennessee's academic standards, and follow the release of state-level results earlier this year for both grades 3-8 and high school. Because it was the first year of TNReady for elementary and middle school students, their results set a new baseline for future growth, and achievement scores cannot be compared to past TCAP assessments. This was the second year high school students completed TNReady. Overall, these results provide families and educators with better information about what students know and are able to do, so they can support students' readiness for their next step in their education journey – which is the goal of state assessments.

"We continue to be incredibly proud of the work our educators and students are doing each day, and TNReady provides us with one key feedback loop that we all can use to provide every student in Tennessee with a high-quality education," McQueen said. "These results show us both where we can learn from schools that are excelling and where we have specific schools or student groups that need better support to help them achieve success – so they graduate from high school with the ability to choose their path in life. We are also particularly proud given what today's results represent: providing families and educators with better information about students' performance so they can help them improve."

Today's results are a key milestone in Tennessee education. In 2007, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Tennessee an "F" for Truth in Advertising about students' true reading and math abilities. At the time, there was a large disparity between what TCAP results showed – which was that about 90% of students were proficient – and what more rigorous benchmarks like the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) said, which was that only about 20-30% of Tennessee students were proficient. Nationally, Tennessee generally ranked among the bottom third of states in education achievement.

In response, Tennessee leaders and schools began improving academic standards, aligning state assessments to accurately reflect student achievement and growth, and strengthening accountability. Now, for the first time, our state test shows similar performance as exams like ACT and NAEP. Tennessee has improved its ranking on the Nation's Report Card, including moving into the top 25 states in three areas. Additionally, Tennessee has improved from a 72.6% graduation rate in 2007 to 89.1% in 2017, among the top 10 states for graduation rate in the country.

Additional Context on TNReady

TNReady was developed in an effort to improve and better align state tests to Tennessee's academic standards, which outline what students are expected to know and be able to do in each grade or course. TNReady replaces the old TCAP test and has a particular focus on students' problem solving, critical thinking, and writing skills. With TNReady, families receive redesigned score reports that can help them understand their child's strengths and areas of improvement from a big-picture perspective, and educators receive reports that break down how well their students grasped each standard so they can improve their practice.

TNReady has four performance levels. For end-of-course exams, scores fall into the categories of mastered, on track, approaching, and below. For grades 3-8, the performance levels are mastered grade level, on grade level, approaching grade level, and below grade level. In each case, students who score in the top two categories are considered to be meeting or exceeding expectations. Students take TNReady in four subjects: math, English language arts, science, and social studies. For grades 3-8, the 2017 social studies exam was a field test and therefore did not generate reportable results.

Complete state-, district-, and school-level results, including the new district- and school-level results released today, are available on TNReady.gov. State-level results from EOCs and grades 3-8 are also detailed in press releases from earlier this year. Additionally, today Commissioner McQueen will share the story of Tennessee's education journey over the past decade with the State Board of Education at their quarterly meeting in Knoxville. You can view a livestream of that presentation here at 1:45 p.m. ET/12:45 p.m. CT.

For media inquiries, contact Sara Gast, director of communications, at Sara.Gast@tn.gov or (615) 532-6260.