Tennessee Succeeds State Plan

Education in Tennessee continues to rise. Over the past decade, our state has established a positive trajectory and celebrated a period of groundbreaking change in education. Tennessee was named the fastest improving state on Nation’s Report Card, or National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), in both math and reading for fourth grade and eighth grade between 2011 and 2015. Most recently, Tennessee students have achieved what no other state did on the 2015 NAEP science assessment. Tennessee students doubled the national average student growth in both grades and scored above the national average for the first time ever in any subject—launching the state into the top half of all states in fourth and eighth grade science.

The Tennessee Department of Education’s unifying vision: The Tennessee Department of Education’s unifying vision:

Districts and schools in Tennessee will exemplify excellence and equity such that all students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully embark upon their chosen path in life.

The state’s work is focused on preparing students such that they have choice and quality options after graduation. That is how Tennessee succeeds.

Tennessee is committed to preparing significantly more students for post-secondary completion. The Drive to 55 alliance, which includes Tennessee Promise, is Governor Haslam’s initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a post-secondary degree or credential to 55 percent by the year 2025. The Drive to 55 is focused on ensuring that more Tennesseans are equipped with the skills and credentials that will be needed to support the state’s economy now and in the future. Tennessee Promise is both a “last-dollar” scholarship and a mentoring program focused on increasing the number of students who attend college in our state. Launched in February 2014, Tennessee Promise creates a new opportunity for students who may have never considered college as an option due to the financial burden.

The TDOE has set four overarching targets to guide its work:

TDOE Target 1 Tennessee students’ achievement will improve the state ranking to be in the top half of all states by the close of the 2019 NAEP cycle.
 TDOE target 2 The Read to be Ready campaign and associated initiatives, strives to move 75 percent of Tennessee students to reading proficiency by the end of third grade by 2025.
 TDOE target 3 By 2020, the state wants to raise the average ACT composite score to 21, signaling that the average student in Tennessee is prepared for post-secondary coursework.
 TDOE target 4 Tennessee is the leader in FAFSA completion. However, in order to reach this goal, the state must prepare more students to persist in post-secondary education.

Five Priority Areas

Tennessee’s ambitious goals will be accomplished by maintaining Tennessee’s emphasis on rigorous standards, aligned assessments, and strong accountability, while focusing on five priority areas: Early Foundations & Literacy, High School & Bridge to Post-secondary, All Means All, Educator Support, and District Empowerment.

Five Priority Areas

The spirit of ESSA is to ensure states have increased autonomy and decision-making authority, in order to drive critical decisions on standards and assessment to the state and local level. Tennessee is also addressing requirements within accountability, developing the new measures for school quality and student success, and ensuring equity across the state through the state plan.