College Readiness

College Readiness

The ACT, a college-readiness test that colleges consider in admitting students, measures student achievement in English, math, reading and science. 


The SAT assesses students in math and evidence-based reading and writing.  This metric measures the approximate percentage of high school graduates from the class of 2018 who have passed the SAT, the ACT or both.  TN ranks 37th.

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High School Graduation Rate

High School Graduation Rate

In order to have a full picture of any state's success in graduating students from public high school, a longitudinal look at a graduating class, starting with students who enter the ninth grade and counting how many graduate from the 12th grade, is necessary. According to theNational Center for Education Statistics.  Iowa led the nation in high school graduation for the class of 2016 cohort, with 91.3% of the state's public high-schoolers obtaining diplomas. The national average was 84.1%.  TN ranks 8th.

Action Plan

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NAEP Math Scores

NAEP Math Scores

Sampled students in the eighth grade across the country are tested for math and reading proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which the U.S. Department of Education bills as "The Nation's Report Card" The scores on the math test range from 0 to 500. Data for this metric is from 2017.  TN ranks 34th.

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NAEP Reading Scores

NAEP Reading Scores

"The Nation's Report Card" also measures reading proficiency among eighth-graders, with scores ranging from 0 to 500. Data for this metric is from 2017. Students in Massachusetts scored best, averaging 278 compared to the average national score of 267.  TN ranks 38th.

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Pre-K Quality

Pre-K Quality

The standards for measuring the quality of any state's pre-K programs are extensive. They include measures of the numbers of teachers with bachelor's degrees of specialized training in pre-K education, class sizes of 20 students or smaller and teacher-student ratios of 1 to 10 or better, supplemental services such as health and vision care and meals provided. The states were graded on a range of 1 to 10 on all these measures by the National Institute for Early Education Research. Notably, Washington is the only state that ranks in the top 10 for education and for this metric. Five states – North Carolina, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Mississippi and Alabama – tied for best pre-K quality. TN ranked 6th in 2018.

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Preschool Enrollment

Preschool Enrollment

Early childhood education provides a firm grounding for children entering kindergarten. This metric accounts for the percentage of children under age 5 in any state enrolled in a nursery school or preschool program in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Vermont led the nation in preschool enrollment, with 33 percent of kids under 5 signed up.  TN ranks 45th.

Action Plan

How we'll improve