Tennessee math scores among worst in nation - WKRN News 2

Tennessee math scores among worst in nation


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A national test puts Tennessee schools near the bottom when it comes to math proficiency.

Tennessee fourth graders ranked 44th, while eighth graders came in 37th.

Massachusetts scored first in each grade, while Mississippi placed last.

News that Tennessee students scored near the bottom of the nation in math didn't come as a surprise to educators.

State education officials hope that a change in standards will improve test scores in the near future.

"No, it really wasn't surprising," said Metro Nashville math coordinator Ernestine Saville-Block, "because when the test was given last year, we really had not changed our standards, we had not changed instruction, so we were going to get the same results that we had gotten previously."

Metro Schools Director Dr. Jesse Register has employed the use of "numeracy coaches" across the district.

Middle school numeracy coaches met on Thursday to discuss how they'll help teachers handle the tougher math material.

After nearly a decade of slow growth in math on the Nation's Report Card, Tennessee scores were flat this year.

"Several years ago, Governor Bredesen joined the Tennessee Diploma Project," said Department of Education spokeswoman Rachel Woods.  "That was a commitment on our behalf to say, we've looked at our standards, they're way too low, we need to make them much more rigorous and we need to make our assessments much more difficult."

Those tougher standards went into effect across Tennessee this school year.

Educators expect that raising standards now will result in higher Tennessee test scores on nationwide tests in the near future.

"You as a parent are assured that your child really does know that material," said Woods. "If the state tells you they're proficient, they really are."

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