Achievement Gap Between Poor And Affluent Tennessee Students Widens

Aug 20, 2013


The achievement gap between poor and affluent children in Tennessee is widening, even as the gap between minority students and their peers narrows. 

The Tennessean newspaper reports that last year, 60% of the state’s top schools served mostly poor children. This year, the number is just over 40%.

Yesterday, Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and Governor Bill Haslam released the list of the state’s "Reward Schools", 169 schools that are the top 5% for academic performance and/or progress since last year. The list is based on results of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) for grades 3 - 8 and on end-of-course exams for high school subjects. 

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman pointed to 70 high-poverty schools that were among the state’s reward schools as a sign that low incomes don’t always mean low academic achievement.