Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam Thursday announced that Tennessee had the largest academic growth on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress of any state, making Tennessee the fastest improving state in the nation.
The NAEP results also show that Tennessee had the largest growth of any state in a single testing cycle since NAEP started nationwide assessments a decade ago.
The national test, more commonly known as the nation's report card, tests reading and math and was given to a sampling of the state's fourth and eighth graders.
All 50 states have taken NAEP since 2003, and the results are regarded across the country as the best way to compare educational outcomes across states. 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.
Governor Haslam credited Tennessee's education reforms of the last several years.
"These historic gains are a result of years of hard work by a lot of people across Tennessee: our teachers, students, principals, superintendents, parents, lawmakers, school board members, business leaders and many others," he said.
The governor made Thursday's announcement at West Wilson Middle School in Mt. Juliet. He was joined by former Gov. Phil Bredesen and State Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, among others.