Lee announces promising results from historic special session on education

$160M+ State Investment Generates Student Engagement, Improved Reading and Math Scores

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Education shared encouraging data around the state’s more than $160 million investment in academic summer camps to address learning loss and accelerate achievement for Tennessee students.

“Tennessee has led the nation in getting students back in the classroom and swiftly addressing learning loss,” said Lee. “As we continue to prioritize our students, I’m encouraged to share positive outcomes of priorities established in our historic special session. I am hopeful for our state and thank the legislature for their partnership to turn the tide for Tennessee students.”

Throughout the pandemic, Tennessee has led the nation in providing academic supports for students. In January 2021, Lee convened the Tennessee General Assembly for a special legislative session to pass policies to mitigate COVID-19 disruptions and support Tennessee students.

“This past summer, Tennessee school districts launched rich academic programs and thoughtfully prioritized student and family engagement to help their students get extra learning time and recover from a very tough school year. In doing so, they built tremendous momentum for students and staff heading into a brand new and still very tough school year,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “There is a lot of work that lies ahead, but after seeing what Tennessee accomplished this summer for its students, I believe our public schools are proving what’s possible.” 

Interventions for Summer Learning

The Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act passed in special session provided funding to local school districts for K-8 academic summer camps across the state.

New data from summer camps will further inform how the state, schools, teachers and families can support student success.

Promising Results Include:

Strong Student Participation

·       This summer, both summer learning camps and after school STREAM camps had higher attendance in elementary grades compared to middle school grades.

·       Overall, more than 120,000 Tennessee students enrolled in summer programming across the state.

English and Language Arts:

·       Overall, data showed an improvement of 5.97 percentage points

·       Elementary grades saw an improvement of 7.34 percentage points

·       Middle school grades saw an improvement of 0.66 percentage points


·       Overall, data showed an improvement of 10.49 percentage points

·       Elementary grades saw an improvement of 11.66 percentage points

·       Middle school grades saw an improvement of 6 percentage points

Details for the department’s presentation to the Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday, September 22, can be found here.

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