A new education report shows Tennessee students are leading the way in academic growth.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress report measures fourth and eighth grade students in reading and math on a 500-point scale.
Tennessee students gained 22 points overall since the report was last released in 2011. The score is just one point below Washington, D.C.’s 23 point increase. Tennessee’s largest gains were in fourth grade math.
Although the state’s students are one of the fastest growing groups academically, all of the categories were at least a point below the national average.
Kentucky posted above-average reading results again in the report. This year, education officials are celebrating the inclusion of more special needs students than ever before.
Kentucky has previously been criticized for excluding more students with special needs than schools the national average.
“The exclusion rates do have an impact on test scores, the more kids you exclude the higher your scores are going to be because most of the kids who are in that region of either being excluded or not being excluded are lower scoring students,” said University of Virginia research professor and NAEP Validity Panel member David Grissmer.
Kentucky’s NAEP reading scores have been higher than the national average for years. The state’s 4th grade math scores are on par with the national average. Eighth grade scores are lower.
Illinois students scores made no significant changes and were within two points of the national average.