MT. JULIET, Tenn. (AP/NewsChannel 5) – A new report shows Tennessee students are leading the nation in academic growth.
Commonly known as "The Nation's Report Card," the National Assessment of Educational Progress assesses students in fourth and eighth grade reading and math every two years. The report released Thursday shows Tennessee students had the largest growth of any state from 2011-2013, with a 22-point growth across all subject areas. The next closest state in growth was Indiana with 15.(link)
My Comment: This is great news! This is confirmation that Governor Haslam's and Republican education reform policies, opposed by a lot of Democrats and the teachers union and the liberal elite chattering class, are producing results. To be fair, it should be acknowledged that some Democrats also supported reform, while many others however remained in the pocket of the Tennessee Education Association.
When you are coming from near the bottom, even being recognized for most growth still leaves a lot of room for improvement. Now is not the time to back down or let up. Republicans need to continue to recognized that education improvement is not about increased education spending, but is about accountability and school choice. Republicans should continue to push for parental empowerment, school choice and accountability. The administration and legislature should continue rapid improvement. They should resist the urge to waste money on pre-K; they should expand vouchers; establish a State authorizer for charter schools; improve accountability standard; and continue efforts to weaken education union influence.