Don’t be discouraged – our students, teachers, parents, and all those involved in Team Classroom are on the right path.

Last week, the Department of Education released the 2017 TNReady results. If you’ve been a Tennessean for Student Success for the last few years, you’ve heard us say this would be a baseline year. This year – with the assessment aligned to our new, rigorous academic standards – would be the first year we measured what our students actually knew and where they were on the pathway to success.

We wanted to share with you the statement we put out last week:

“Today’s TNReady results highlight the work ahead for all those involved in Team Classroom.

“The good news – 79% of our students have mastered, are on track, or are approaching where they need to be in English Language Arts. In math, 74%. In both categories, the largest student segments are in the third of four achievement levels: approaching. These achievement levels give teachers, parents, and students a stronger understanding of where additional help is needed and which students are gaining ground. With the information coming from today’s TNReady results, and the district-level results in weeks to come, all those involved in the classroom will have a clearer picture of which standards our students are mastering and where every student needs additional support for success.

“In this baseline year, we value data that gives an accurate and honest look at where our students truly are in the trajectory for success. While TNReady scores cannot be compared to previous TCAP assessment data, everyone should be concerned that 21.5% and nearly 26% of our students are below course expectations in English Language Arts and math. While we are confident our students will show growth from this baseline, ensuring every child in the state has an opportunity to succeed will require hard work and continued commitment to the policies that have been driving student success in Tennessee over the last few years.

“As we look at the results from grades 3-8, we are mindful of this moment in the history of education in Tennessee. Ten years ago, the state received an “F” in preparing students for life after graduation. Gone, now, are the days when students are declared ‘ready’ or ‘proficient’ with no data to prove that claim, leaving scores of students woefully unprepared for life outside the classroom.

“We are confident we are on the right track. It is the job of everyone involved in Tennessee’s classrooms to work and ensure every student is ready for success. Through rigorous academic standards and an assessment aligned to those standards, we can be certain every Tennessee student is on a pathway for opportunity.”

There’s work to be done, certainly, but this isn’t a moment to change direction. We are confident the next several years will show growth in student mastery as we continue to use this data to help make sure every student in Tennessee is prepared for success after graduation.