MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Education said Tuesday that 2021-22 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) results show some improved performance and students performing at a level similar to pre-pandemic years. But many students still are not meeting grade-level expectations, especially in English.
The results released Tuesday look at both spring 2022 and fall 2021 exams in English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies. The state said 98% of Tennessee students participated in TCAP, and 59 districts had a participation rate over 99%.
According to education leaders, elementary students improved ELA scores, and students of all ages showed improvement in math.
"Tennessee's gains to meet or exceed pre-pandemic proficiency levels were hard-earned, and now is the time to ensure we continue the policies, practices and programs that are supporting academic achievement,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn in a news release.
“These results mark encouraging strides for our students and also show the positive impact of early interventions to combat learning loss. I commend Tennessee teachers for their work to help students make academic gains, close achievement gaps and prepare students for life beyond the classroom," said Gov. Bill Lee in a statement.
An overview PowerPoint of the 2021-22 TCAP results is available here.
Key takeaways from the Tennessee Department of Education:
English Language Arts (ELA):
- Notably, ELA proficiency has returned to pre-pandemic levels in almost all grades, with more students scoring Met and Exceeded than 2019, including:
- A 6-point gain in elementary school proficiency, which reflects the highest proficiency the state has seen in the last five years.
- A 6-point gain in middle school proficiency from 2021 and matches our pre-pandemic achievement.
- A 7-point gain in high school proficiency, which reflects the highest proficiency the state has seen in the last five years.
- 36.4% of Tennessee students are meeting grade level expectations in ELA.
- Proficiency gains were reflected in all tested grades in ELA.
- ELA-Related State Supports & Initiatives: Reading 360; Tennessee Literacy Success Act; TN ALL Corps; universal implementation of high-quality instructional materials; summer camps; Best for All Central resources.
- 3 in 10 Tennessee students are meeting grade level expectations in math.
- Based on national projections, math recovery is expected to recover faster than ELA.
- Growth in math matched or exceeded gains seen in previous years and is outpacing math projections for pandemic recovery. Between 35-55% of learning loss gaps are closed in math.
- Math-Related State Supports & Initiatives: TN ALL Corps; summer camps; Best for All Central resources; free online tutoring resources available for all students.
- School Level Spotlight:
- Elementary: A 4-point gain in proficiency, which reflects a 33% gap closure from the pandemic.
- Middle: A 6-point gain in proficiency from 2021, which reflects a more than 50% gap closure from the pandemic.
- High School: A 4-point gain in proficiency, which reflects a 50% gap closure from the pandemic.
- Overall, proficiency rates held steady for science, with an increase of 2 percentage points.
- All grade levels experienced an increase in students scoring Exceeded Expectations.
- Science-Related State Supports & Initiatives: Ongoing partnership with TSIN to expand STEM designated schools from 15 in 2018 to 88 in 2022; extended programming on PBS and Best for All Central resources; expanded STREAM programming in Tennessee summer camps.
- Overall social studies proficiency has continued to increase since 2017.
- Fewer students scored Below and Approaching, while more students scored Met and Exceeded Expectations.
- Social Studies-Related State Supports & Initiatives: Expanded resources on Best for All Central; strengthened the Governor's Civic Seal program; strong statewide implementation of knowledge-building materials in English Language Arts (ELA).