About the Department
The Tennessee Department of Education, under the leadership of Commissioner Kevin Huffman, is focused on the ambitious goal of ensuring that Tennessee is the state with the fastest improving student achievement. Our results on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that our state is on its way, as Tennessee students posted bigger academic gains than those in any other state in the nation. This is consistent with the gains our students have shown over the past several years on our own standardized test, the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, and shows that we must continue to press forward with the important changes the state has made to our education system.
Tennessee enrolls approximately 950,000 students, and is divided into 142 districts with both significant urban and rural populations. Academically, our students still perform below the national average, and this is compounded by significant gaps by income and race. As a department, we are dedicated to the goal of dramatically improving student achievement, and committed to the belief that children from all backgrounds can succeed when given the opportunities they deserve.
We have three key beliefs that undergird our work. We wish to:
- Build an effective state agency that serves as a delivery system to districts
- Support policies that remove bureaucracy and unleash innovation; and
- Operate from an ethos of continuous improvement through measurement at every level