The Education Trust in Tennessee issued the following statement regarding the National Center for Education Statistics’ release of the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results. The NAEP results include national, state, and select district-level scores for grades 4 and 8 in mathematics and reading and insights into students’ learning experiences.

This year’s NAEP results are troubling and confirm the urgent need to sustain and deepen our pandemic recovery strategies across the State. 

In Tennessee: 

  • Student performance in math and reading mirrored the decline seen nationwide, with widening and pervasive gaps in proficiency between student groups
  • Proficiency levels were lowest for 8th-grade math overall, but disparities were widest among students in 4th-grade math 
  • Less than 1 out of every 4 students were proficient on the 2022 8th-grade NAEP math  assessment, which is slightly lower than the national trend and 8 points less than last year
  • Just over 1 out of every 10 Black students were proficient on the 2022 4th-grade NAEP math assessment compared to almost half of their White peers, representing a 34 percentage point gap
  • Just over 1 out of every 10 students from low-income backgrounds were proficient on the 2022 8th-grade NAEP reading assessment compared to over a third of their more economically privileged peers, representing a 21 percentage point gap

Our goal must not be to merely return to pre-pandemic levels, but to help every student achieve success in both math and reading at much higher rates than previously realized. Tennessee must prioritize remaining American Rescue Plan funds in academic recovery efforts, and to date, less than a third of the $4.5 billion has been spent. These funds must be used to invest in proven strategies that work: support for high-quality instruction and materials, targeted and intensive tutoring, extended learning time, mental health services for students, and professional learning and support for teachers and staff.

The Education Trust in Tennessee, along with our partners in the TN Alliance for Equity in Education and stakeholders from across the state, are working to ensure that we are uplifting community voices to address these long-standing inequities in outcomes and map a better future for our students together. We commit to working alongside our students and their families, educators, our partners, and policymakers alike to help chart a path forward that ensures these critical resources reach the students and schools who need them most.

Read statement from Ed Trust Interim CEO, Denise Forte on NAEP Long-Term Trend Assessment Data.

Read Ed Trust blog post, NAEP Scores Are Out. Sure, Results Are Bad. But Now’s Not the Time for Handwringing.