(WVLT) - The 12th annual "quality counts" report card is out for k-through-12 schools across the country.
Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford has more on what grade Tennessee received and why:
Tennessee's overall grade is a C+, just slightly better than the nation's grade of a "C".
"Editorial Projects in Education" is the non-profit organization that evaluated 50 states to help raise awareness and understanding on important issues to improve education.
Rachel Woods with the State Department of Education says, "Tennessee earning a C+ is a good grade, but it's not good enough."
Tennessee's C+ grade is based on ratings in six areas of school performance and policy:
Chance for success, C-minus...K-12 achievement, D-plus...Standards, assessments and accountability, A-minus...Transitions and alignment, A...The teaching profession, C and School Finance, C-minus.
The Chance for Success framework is based on strong and weak links from childhood through adulthood.
Out of 100 points, Tennessee received nearly 78 for early foundations, such as family income and parent education. They scored a 67 for the schooling years, which includes K-12 graduation rates.
Under adult outcomes after graduation, they received close to 74 points.
The state received its highest grade of an "A" in Transitions and alignment, which covers early-childhood education, college readiness and the economy and workforce.
"The state board of education is working on new graduation requirements, which will be a single path, university-bound for every student that graduates." Woods says.
The Tennessee Department of Education says they're focusing on pre-planning in high school to better prepare students for the real world after graduation.
"You should not wait until a student is in 12th grade to be planning and asking questions about what you're going to do when you graduate. That planning should really begin in 8th and 9th grade."
With a lot of work ahead of them, the state is confident Tennessee's schools will go ever farther.
Woods says, "I know that education is going to improve in this state and you'll see Tennessee rise in the rankings in future years."
You can read the full report in detail and compare other states with Tennessee...just click on the link below.