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Tennessee Department of Education says 2013 TCAP Results Show Sustained Growth among Tennessee Students


Tennessee Department of EducationNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Education announced that students across the state performed better on the 2013 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) than the previous year, marking three consecutive years of continued improvement.

For the first time since the state implemented more rigorous standards in 2009, more than half of students in grades 3-8 are on grade level in every TCAP Achievement subject, reaching higher levels of proficiency in 2013 on 22 of 24 tested subjects than in 2012.

2013 TCAP Results

Nearly 91,000 additional students across all grade levels are at or above grade level in math, as compared to 2010. High school students also increased in proficiency, showing gains on six out of seven End of Course exams.

“I am grateful to our students and teachers for rising to the challenge of higher standards and to parents who are investing in their children’s education,” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said.  “It is encouraging that we continue to make gains in education, and we are reminded that we have a lot of work ahead of us in building a strong Tennessee workforce for the future.”

TCAP results also showed strong growth in STEM subjects over 2012 scores, with proficiency percentages up by 8.7 points in Algebra II, 6.4 points in biology, and 5 points in Algebra I.

“All of these gains mean that our students are much better prepared for the science and engineering-based jobs of tomorrow, putting our state in a better position for economic growth,” Governor Haslam said.

Additionally, more than 50 percent of students in grades 3-8 scored proficient in math, 73,000 more students than three years ago, and almost 63 percent scored proficient in science, an increase of over 50,000 students since 2010.

In addition to the increase in overall scores, this year’s TCAP results also revealed a shrinking achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their peers.

“Economically disadvantaged students across the state grew at a faster rate than their more affluent peers, which defies national trends,” said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. “We are encouraged and excited by these results, but there is still more work to be done in closing achievement gaps in Tennessee.”

In 2010, TCAP Achievement tests and End of Course exams were aligned with more strategic and rigorous standards as a result of the Tennessee Diploma Project. Despite higher standards, students have demonstrated growth on the assessments for three consecutive years, putting Tennessee on track to become the fastest-improving state educational system in the nation.

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For more information, contact Kelli Gauthier at 615.532.7817 or

2013 TCAP Results

Overall Growth

  • Following the implementation of Race to the Top, Tennessee has seen three consecutive years of overall growth on the TCAP.
  • Nearly 91,000 additional students are at or above grade level in all math subjects now, as compared to 2010 (73,400 in 3-8 math, 7,800 in Algebra I, and 9,800 in Algebra II).
  • Nearly 52,000 additional students are at or above grade level in all science subjects, as compared to 2010 (50,100 in 3-8 science, 1,600 in biology).
  • Economically disadvantaged students (those who receive free or reduced-price lunch) grew at a faster rate in 2013 than their peers.
  • Some gaps between black, Hispanic and Native American students and their peers also decreased.
  • More than 10,000 additional students took the regular TCAP in 2013 instead of a modified special education assessment, in an effort to increase rigor for all students.

3-8 Achievement Test

  • For the first time since standards were reset, more than 50 percent of students are on grade level in every TCAP subject.
  • More than 73,000 additional students are on grade level in math, and nearly 27,000 in reading since 2010.
  • Students made gains on 22 of 24 tested subjects.
  • Math scores grew by 3.5 percentage points.
  • The proficiency rates in 3-8 science grew by more than 2 percentage points.
  • Reading scores grew by 0.4 percentage points.

High School End of Course Exams

  • Students made major gains in high school STEM subjects of science and math:
    • 8.7 percentage point gain in Algebra II
    • 6.4 percentage point gain in biology
    • 5 percentage point gain in Algebra I.
  • Students made gains on six of seven End of Course exams.
  • Nearly 18,000 more students are proficient in Algebra I and II since 2010.
  • Proficiency rates increased by about two percent in English I and English III, but moved backward about one percentage point in English II.




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