Standardized test scores for local public schools look sobering, although educators are cautioning that parents should view them with a grain of salt. Perhaps several grains. The data from the 2015-16 school year (the latest-available data, released on Dec. 13) shows widespread score drops, but it is a “recalibration” year based on a new test.
The scores are from TNReady, the state’s assessments in math, English language arts, social studies, and science. TNReady is part of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, which has been the state’s testing program since 1988.
State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen told educators not to be discouraged when she spoke on the topic Tuesday.
“These scores show a student’s potential trajectory,” she said. “They are not a student’s destiny.”
See the Chalkbeat.org article explaining the details on how Shelby County scores in particular lagged, where Memphis stands, and the perspective needed to understand each district’s school report card at bit.ly/TennSchool ReportCards2015-16.
The report cards cover 2015-2016 and includes the following local school districts. Information is available at the state and the district level online in the new report card format at bit.ly/TNReportCards. Information is available in the old report card format online at bit.ly/TNReportCards-classic. Many more categories of information are available at these links, including college/career readiness, education climate and more.
• School district’s profile information: 8,113 students in grades PK-12, with 7.3 percent economically disadvantaged. The district has 4.3 percent English language learners (the percentage of students whose first language is not English and qualify for services related to English as a second language.) The district’s student body includes 13.5 percent of students with disabilities who qualify to receive special education assistance. The district employed 448 teachers as of Dec. 1 for the 2015-16 school year and had 29 administrators. The per-pupil expenditure was $8,852 (total operating expenditures on a per-pupil basis, including federal, state and local funds).
• 92.4 percent graduation rate (the percentage who graduated within four years and a summer, compared to those students who entered ninth grade four years earlier)
• 24.6 average ACT composite score (the district’s average for students taking this national college-level entrance exam, which allows a possible score of up to 36)
• Level 5 on TVAAS Overall (TVAAS, the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, is a statistical analysis that measures student growth. Level 4-5 means that students tended to grow more in literacy than their peers in Tennessee. Levels 1-2 means they tended to grow less.)
• Level 5 on TVAAS Numerancy. (This score indicates Collierville students are making “substantially more progress than the Standard for American Growth.”)
• Student ethnicity is 65.2 percent white, 18 percent black/African American, 4.7 percent Hispanic and 11.5 percent Asian.
• Student ethnicity at Collierville High School is 70.6 percent white, 17.3 percent black/African American, 4.3 percent Hispanic and 7.2 percent Asian.
• Sycamore Elementary is the most racially diverse school within the system, with 41.1 percent students of black/African American descent, 26.4 white, 25.5 Asian and 6.1 Hispanic.
• Students at Collierville High School had a 35.2 percent Mastery Rate of Achievement in Biology but a 41.5 percent Below Rate of Achievement in Algebra 1.
• Students at Collierville High School also had a 38.3 percent Proficient Rate of Achievement in Science and a 36.6 percent Proficient Rate of Achievement in Chemistry.
• Student Breakdown
Bailey Station – 836
Collierville Elementary – 793
Collierville High School – 2,304
Collierville Middle School – 860
Crosswind – 800
Schilling Farms – 1,089
Sycamore – 750
Tara Oaks – 681