Education officials release TCAP results

They say students are bouncing back from pandemic learning loss

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Tennessee Department of Education has released the 2021-22 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) state-level test results.

And the administration says they like what they see.

The TCAP test are used to show how the state and school districts are doing on learning loss and student achievement.

Today’s results cover both spring 2022 and fall 2021 end-of-course exams in English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science and social studies.

Education officials report that elementary students improved their English scores and are performing at pre-pandemic levels.

Plus better math performance at all ages.  Every student group improved.

They have worried about the learning loss from the time students were not in class during Covid.

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn says “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.”

Governor Lee had warned of the problem of learning loss during virtual classes (or online classes at home).

“These results mark encouraging strides for our students and also show the positive impact of early interventions to combat learning loss. I commend Tennessee teachers for their work to help students make academic gains, close achievement gaps and prepare students for life beyond the classroom.”

Here are some takeaways from the Department of Education on the TCAP results:

English Language Arts (ELA):

Notably, ELA proficiency has returned to pre-pandemic levels in almost all grades, with more students scoring Met and Exceeded than 2019, including:
A 6-point gain in elementary school proficiency, which reflects the highest proficiency the state has seen in the last five years.
A 6-point gain in middle school proficiency from 2021 and matches our pre-pandemic achievement.
A 7-point gain in high school proficiency, which reflects the highest proficiency the state has seen in the last five years.
36.4% of Tennessee students are meeting grade level expectations in ELA.

Proficiency gains were reflected in all tested grades in ELA.

ELA-Related State Supports & Initiatives: Reading 360; Tennessee Literacy Success Act; TN ALL Corps; universal implementation of high-quality instructional materials; summer camps; Best for All Central resources.

·        3 in 10 Tennessee students are meeting grade level expectations in math.

·        Based on national projections, math recovery is expected to recover faster than ELA.

·        Growth in math matched or exceeded gains seen in previous years and is outpacing math projections for pandemic recovery. Between 35-55% of learning loss gaps are closed in math.

·        Math-Related State Supports & Initiatives: TN ALL Corps; summer camps; Best for All Central resources; free online tutoring resources available for all students.

·        School Level Spotlight:

o   Elementary: A 4-point gain in proficiency, which reflects a 33% gap closure from the pandemic.

o   Middle: A 6-point gain in proficiency from 2021, which reflects a more than 50% gap closure from the pandemic.

o   High School: A 4-point gain in proficiency, which reflects a 50% gap closure from the pandemic.



·        Overall, proficiency rates held steady for science, with an increase of 2 percentage points.

·        All grade levels experienced an increase in students scoring Exceeded Expectations.

·        Science-Related State Supports & Initiatives: Ongoing partnership with TSIN to expand STEM designated schools from 15 in 2018 to 88 in 2022; extended programming on PBS and Best for All Central resources; expanded STREAM programming in Tennessee summer camps.


Social Studies:

·        Overall social studies proficiency has continued to increase since 2017.

·        Fewer students scored Below and Approaching, while more students scored Met and Exceeded Expectations.

·        Social Studies-Related State Supports & Initiatives: Expanded resources on Best for All Central; strengthened the Governor’s Civic Seal program; strong statewide implementation of knowledge-building materials in English Language Arts (ELA).

“These results demonstrate that a consistent, focused, and well-executed literacy instruction strategy makes a huge, positive difference in student performance,” said Senate Finance Chairman Bo Watson.

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