Tennessee students have tougher education standards to meet, and it's paying off.
Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman says students have shown three consecutive years of improvement on the TCAP tests (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program), putting Tennessee on track to become the fastest-improving state educational system in the nation. He says they did better on 22 of the 24 subjects this year than last year.
TCAP results also showed strong growth in stem subjects over 2012 scores, with proficiency percentages up by 8.7 points in algebra II and 6.4 points in biology.
More than 50 percent of students in grades 3-8 scored proficient in math, 73,000 more students than three years ago, and almost 63 percent scored proficient in science, an increase of over 50,000 students since 2010.
In addition to the increase in overall scores, this year's TCAP results also revealed a shrinking achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their peers.
Tennessee became one of the first states to win national race to the top funding in 2009 and has been using the funds to implement tougher standards for students.