Earlier this month, the Tennessee Department of Education released our state’s 2011 results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Tennessee students scored about the same as two years ago.
But by standing still, we dropped in the national rankings — from 45th to 46th in the nation in fourth-grade math, and 34th to 41st in eighth-grade reading. These results remind us that our work has just begun to ensure every child graduates from high school prepared for post-secondary education and the workforce.
Still, it has been encouraging to see the growing sense of urgency among Tennesseans to make meaningful improvements in public education for our state’s highest-need students. We know that to create a truly effective system it will require hard work, collaboration, sound policies, and most certainly the energy of strong leaders in our classrooms.
In 2009, SCORE issued its “Roadmap to Success.” Based on the consensus of state education, political, business and community leaders, it detailed more than 60 policy recommendations aimed at embracing high academic standards, cultivating strong school and district leaders, ensuring excellent teachers are in every classroom, and using data to enhance student learning.