The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) says that its students have rebounded after the COVID-19 pandemic, and that math and English language arts (ELA) scores increased in the 2021-2022 school year.
“Results from the 2021-22 TCAP assessments show that elementary students significantly improved their ELA scores and are performing at a level similar to pre-pandemic years,” said a TDOE press release. “Additionally, improved performance in math was evident for Tennessee students of all ages. Every student group showed an increase in proficiency as demonstrated on the 2022 TCAP assessments.”
The scores are measured by the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP).
According to the press release, the TCAP student participation rate was 98 percent and 59 school districts participated at a rate of 99 percent or higher.
The scores in English were measured against pre-pandemic, 2019 TCAP scores.
The release said that elementary and middle school ELA proficiency increased six points from the 2019 numbers. At the elementary level, the six-point jump “reflects the highest proficiency the state has seen in the last five years.”
Schools also saw a seven-point jump in high school ELA scores, also a high point over the past five years.
Overall, the release said that 36.4 percent of Tennessee’s students are grade-level proficient in ELA.
As for math, 30 percent of students are performing at grade level.
“Growth in math matched or exceeded gains seen in previous years and is outpacing math projections for pandemic recovery,” according to the release. “Between 35-55% of learning loss gaps are closed in math.”
Math proficiency levels are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels faster than ELA levels, according to the release.
“Today, I am incredibly proud to be able to share Tennessee’s 2021-22 TCAP assessment results, which demonstrate the hard work of Tennessee’s districts, schools, educators, and families, the leadership of Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly – and the incredible impacts all of these efforts have had on improving academic outcomes for students.” said Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn.”Tennessee’s gains to meet or exceed pre-pandemic proficiency levels were hard-earned, and now is the time to ensure we continue the policies, practices and programs that are supporting academic achievement.”
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].