High Expectations, Rigorous Assessment, And Closing The Honesty Gap In Tennessee
Honesty is the best policy, especially when we are talking about student achievement.
In separate reports, Harvard University researchers and the nonprofit organization Achieve, have identified Tennessee as a national leader in erasing the gap between measures of student proficiency on statewide assessments and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Eleven years ago, such progress in closing what Achieve calls “the honesty gap” seemed unimaginable for Tennessee. In 2007, the state’s leaders and educators were embarrassed to be handed an F for “truth in advertising about student proficiency” in a US Chamber of Commerce report. At that time, there was a 60-point difference between the proficiency rates for reading and math that Tennessee reported and the NAEP results.
Tennessee responded decisively to the US Chamber report by continuously adopting higher academic standards and creating a more challenging statewide assessment. According to Achieve’s Proficient vs. Prepared report released in May, the Tennessee honesty gap for fourth grade has narrowed to 5 points in math and 4 points in reading. The gap closure is even greater in eighth grade, to a mere 2 points in math and 0 in reading. [Read more at TNScore.org]