Metro schools showing improved results, says district - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Metro schools showing improved results, says district

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Students in Metro Nashville Public Schools are achieving at higher levels in most areas tested under the statewide assessments.

District officials announced the positive results on Thursday morning.

It's news that parents want to know: how the district and their kids performed on the TCAPs.

"Test scores are really important to me because that decides whether the go on to the next grade and whether they are learning what they really should be learning in school," said parent Sharicka Gibson.

Overall, Metro students improved in all grades tested in math, with high schools showing the biggest increase. Scores also improved in English III, social studies and science.

However, officials with Metro Schools say there are many areas for improvement.

"We're not satisfied with the Algebra on the Algebra II or English III, but the growth is significant, and we are getting more comfortable with those standards and how they're being assessed," said Paul Changas, the director of research for Metro Schools.

Highlights of the report:

  • Math proficiency in grades 3-8 improved by 3.0 percentage points (39.4 percent to 42.4 percent), and value added growth in math significantly exceeded the state target.
  • High school math scores improved dramatically. Proficiency increased by 9.6 percentage points (41.8 percent to 51.4 percent) for Algebra I and 7.1 points (17.1 percent to 24.2 percent) for Algebra II.
  • English III scores increased by 3.8 percentage points (21.7 percent to 25.5 percent).
  • The 2012 graduation rate improved from 76.2 percent to 78.4 percent, surpassing the Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) set by the state. Metro Schools' does not yet have the official 2013 grad rate, which will include summer graduates, but preliminary data indicates it will continue to rise.
  • Improvement also occurred in subject areas not included in accountability determinations. In grades 3-8, science proficiency increased from 44.5 percent to 45.2 percent and social studies scores improved from 75.1 percent to 75.9 percent.

Metro Schools' reading/language arts scores are an area of concern, showing a decline in grades 3-8 and English II. School officials said the trend appears to be reflected across the state. In 2013, Metro Schools':

  • Reading scores across grades 3-8 dropped by seven-tenths of a percentage point (40.6 percent to 39.9 percent).
  • English II scores declined by 1.2 percentage points (48.7 percent to 47.5 percent), although value added growth for this subject significantly exceeded the state average.

Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register also said the district now has the second toughest standards in the country; something he says is very significant.

"Remember, it was quite different than a few years ago when Tennessee had some of the lower standards in the country. When you raise the standards, not as many students make (grades rated as) proficient or advanced. Now, our standards are the second toughest in the country," said Register.

District officials said the results reflect a "pattern of steady progress by Metro Schools."

The score that factors into teachers' evaluations will be released next week. More than 81,000 students are enrolled in Davidson County public schools. 

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