Report: Tenn. has Nation's Worst Achievement Gap

Feb 3, 2014


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (TNS/WMOT)  --  A recent report finds that only about one-in-three Tennessee students are proficient at reading by the time they reach the fourth grade.

According to the study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 66-percent of Tennessee fourth-graders don't read at grade-level.

Perhaps of even greater concern, the report reveals a large and growing achievement gap between students from higher and lower-income families’

Linda O'Neal is Director of The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth.

"Tennessee had the highest gap in the country in terms of the percentage of higher-income students, at 48 percent who are below proficiency, compared to 82 percent of lower-income students."

Nationally, about half the students from higher-income families are reading proficiently by the time they reach fourth grade, compared to just one in five of children from low-income households.

If the trend continues, the report predicts by the end of the decade, the U-S will not have enough skilled workers.