Tennessee State-Wide Test Scores Decline Following Last School Year
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The 2020 school year was like no other in recent history. “Last year we were totally in survival mode,” says Chattanooga mom of five Cara Hicks.
The Tennessee Department of Education offers exams – called the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program exams – to assess the progress of students across the state in language arts, science, math and social studies.
The results show a significant decline in learning this last school year due to the pandemic disruption, administrators say.
Around a third of the students test below grade level, with only ten percent or less mastering their grade level.
Math scores showed the greatest decline.
“There’s some concern that the math scores did take a turn downward in middle school level,” says Dwight Hunter who is the president of the Tennessee PTA. “That will have to be corrected at some point because ACT tests are based on eight and ninth grade math.”
Officials say the economically disadvantaged scored significantly lower than their peers.
“Economic-disadvantaged students may not have had access to internet as some other families may have had, or they may not have had access to resources or information. Those are the things we really need to study to see if that bears truth,” Hunter says.
Cara Hicks, a mother of five children in public school, says even through the unusual year, growth and progress was still made.
“Each of the kids was on their computer at different times. But fortunately they did learn some additional computer skills. They learned to be resilient,” she says.
The Tennessee Department of Education said there will be no penalty or negative consequences associated with accountability following this school year. The exam participation rate was over 80 percent of the entire student body.