Gov. Haslam applauds local schools on academic growth - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gov. Haslam applauds local schools on academic growth

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Tennessee is improving the fastest out of any state across the country in math and reading.

That's why Governor Bill Haslam stopped at Cleveland Middle School Friday, thanking teachers and students on his tour of schools across the state.

The state went from 46th to 37th in math scores, and 41st to 31st in reading scores, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The state also saw the largest growth on any state in a single testing cycle since the national assessment standards were invoked ten years ago.

But despite the recent gains, Haslam said there's still work to be done.

"I don't think any of us want to be the 35th best out of 50 states in anything, but it is a significant step forward," said Haslam.

State Education Commissioner, Kevin Huffman, said Tennessee schools' Common Core standards are helping boost classroom success.

"It's leading to higher standards of what's being taught, and I think that leads to a different level of performance," Huffman said.

Teachers like Dianna Johnson said the change hasn't been an easy one.

"We've had to kind of back up and re-evaluate how we did things and go for a better plan," she said.

Johnson has been teaching for more than 30 years. She said she's seen a different in students' performance recently, but it's still a work in progress.

"We just have to dig in and keep pushing the kids for everything we can get out of them," she said.

Haslam said education officials will continue pushing teachers and students to make additional strides in academic growth.

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