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Tennessee Makes Education Gains, SREB Report Says

News From SREB | Press Release
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Beth Day, SREB Director of Communications
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The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

Tennessee Tops Nation's High School Graduation Rate, Makes Other Education Gains, SREB Report Says

Atlanta, Georgia - June 26, 2012 - Tennessee significantly improved public education by several key measures in the last decade, according to a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board.

Across the region, SREB states led the nation in gains since 2002 in areas such as student reading and math achievement and high school graduation rates. And they made this progress during the long economic downturn, rising child poverty rates, and rapid growth of an increasingly diverse population.

A Decade of Progress is a landmark look back at each state’s and the region’s education achievements since the states adopted 12 ambitious Challenge to Lead Goals for Education in 2002. Among the highlights:

  • In Tennessee, black fourth-graders narrowed the achievement gap with white students by 10 percentage points from 2003 to 2011 in reading at the Basic level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Black and Hispanic fourth-graders narrowed the gap in math.
  • Tennessee’s Hispanic eighth-graders narrowed the gaps in reading and math at the NAEP Basic level over the period. Black eighth-graders narrowed the gap in math.
  • At 77 percent, Tennessee’s high school graduation rate topped the regional (75 percent) and national (76 percent) rates in 2009.
  • Tennessee’s black students narrowed the gap with white students in high school graduation. Black students narrowed the gap by 4 points from 2003 to 2009, to 73 percent.
  • Tennessee’s recent high school graduates enrolled in college at a higher rate — 68 percent — than their regional and national peers (both 67 percent) in 2010.
 
“These gains
 are an important step forward and confirm that many of the policies Tennessee has adopted are making a difference,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “Education has been a top priority for SREB states. The challenge ahead is to focus on what we know works to improve public education.”

Tennessee: A Decade of Progress details the state’s demographic and income changes, school performance standards, pre-K through postsecondary student achievement, adult learning and job training, and more. Download the full PDF here.

The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states to improve public education: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

SREB tracks progress of its 16 member states on the Challenge to Lead Goals for Education, adopted by state leaders to help the region lead the nation in educational progress at all levels.

In addition to these state-by-state reports, in the coming weeks SREB will release analyses of region-wide progress on student achievement in NAEP scores, high school graduation rates and college completion trends. SREB expects to announce updated Goals for Education in September.

 
Tennessee: A Decade of Progress

 
© 2012 Southern Regional Education Board. All rights reserved.
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