Tennessee students lead nation in academic growth

Tennessee students lead nation in academic growth

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MT. JULIET (AP/WATE) - A new report shows Tennessee students are leading the nation in academic growth.

Commonly known as "the nation's report card," the National Assessment of Educational Progress assesses students in fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math. The report released Thursday shows Tennessee students had the largest growth of any state from 2011-2013, with a 22-point growth across all subject areas. The next closest state in growth was Indiana with 15.

For fourth-grade students, Tennessee went from 46th to 37th in math and from 41st to 31st in reading.

State officials say the improvement is partially due to education reforms over the last few years including a tougher teacher evaluation process.

"For Tennessee to make these kinds of advances in one year, and we've only been teaching Common Core for three years, it is a clear indication that it's working," Tennessee State Board of Education member Mike Edwards said.

Knox County Superintendent Jim McIntyre said the results show that the state is headed in the right direction.

"We recognize that all of the changes and enhancements and reforms to public education that have been put in place are challenging," McIntyre said. "It's hard work but if you look at the results we're beginning to see it's pretty extraordinary."

Associated Press Reporter LUCAS L. JOHNSON II and 6 News Reporter SAMANTHA MANNING contributed to this report.

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