Education Commissioner: Grades 3-8 improving but ‘we have long way to go’

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – “We have a long way to go” is how the state education commissioner characterized the results of the first TNReady tests for third through eighth grade students.

Candice McQueen prefaced those comments about how Tennessee now has a “higher bar” and “higher expectations” because its new K-12 state testing aligns more closely with national standards.

“That’s powerful for us as a state because now we have better data that’s truthful so now we can move forward,” added the education commissioner.

Ten years ago, Tennessee got an “F” from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its truthfulness in K-12 student testing compared national standards.

McQueen said she would give the state now an “A” for what she referred to as “truth-in-advertising” in how the student tests will reflect Tennessee student performance against kids nationwide.

“We know our students are learning and growing but we also know we have a long way to go to reach our vision of preparing all students for success after high school,” Commissioner McQueen added.

For example, the TNReady results show that just under 6 percent of third through eighth grade students had “mastered the content” for English.

The testing also indicated that just over 28 percent of the students were on track to do it, while the largest percentage–44.7 percent–were “approaching” mastering the content.

The remaining 21.5 percent were deemed at “below grade level expectations.”

Click here for full statewide results for the TNReady tests grades 3 through 8. District and school level results will be available later this fall.

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