Preparing for postsecondary education
Over the past decades, Tennessee has seen graduation rates and college test scores rise steadily as far more students are graduating and moving on to postsecondary opportunities. Tennessee’s Drive to 55 program has placed an increased emphasis on postsecondary achievement resulting in a state with far more students in colleges and certificate programs across the state.
Tennessee High School Graduation Rates Across Time
- Graph 1: “State Report Card,” Tennessee Department of Education, accessed June 21, 2016, https://www.tn.gov/education/topic/report-card
Tennessee’s national rankings* in four-year cohort graduation rates
*Rankings include D.C. but are not always out of 51. Some states did not report graduation rates for certain subgroups in certain years to the U.S. Department of Education, the source of our data. The total number of states among which Tennessee is ranked is noted in the graph.
- Graph 2: “ED Data Express,” U.S. Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2016, http://eddataexpress.ed.gov/state-tables-main.cfm.
Starting in 2010, Tennessee became one of a growing number of states to require that every high school junior take the ACT. Our state has seen a small but steady increase in ACT scores overall and by subject over the past five years. Though our students still score slightly below the national average of 21 out of 36, our rising scores have led to an increase in Tennessee students pursuing post-secondary options after high school each year.
Tennessee ACT Scores Across Time
Note: 2010 was the first year the ACT was mandatory for all Tennessee students.
- “State Report Card,” Tennessee Department of Education, accessed June 21, 2016, https://www.tn.gov/education/topic/report-card
- “Tennessee’s Average ACT Scores Mostly Stagnant,” Chalkbeat TN, last accessed August 1, 2016, http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/tn/2015/08/26/tennessees-average-act-scores-mostly-stagnant/#.V6ndF2SrQzU