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Director pleased with results
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Warren County missed achieving the highest rating possible in TNReady testing by less than 1 percent in results released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Education.
“I’m very pleased,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “There are four categories, the highest being exemplary and the second highest being achieving. We missed being exemplary by four-tenths of a percent.”
Cox pointed out that along with doing well in the TNReady report as a school system, Morrison Elementary set itself apart and was named a Reward School for being in the top 5 percent of schools in the state in progress.
One of the most glaring weaknesses is in high school math where 64.6 percent of Warren County students are below level. When combined, just 14.9 percent of local students are on track or have mastered high school math.
In English I, just over one-quarter of local students, 27.1 percent, are on track or have mastered the course.
TNReady was developed in an effort to improve and better align state tests to Tennessee’s academic standards, which outline what students are expected to know and be able to do in each grade. TNReady replaces the old TCAP test.
TNReady has a particular focus on problem solving, critical thinking, and writing skills.
With TNReady, families receive redesigned score reports that can help them understand their child’s strengths and areas of improvement from a big-picture perspective. Educators receive reports that break down how well their students grasped each standard so they can improve their practice.
The test has four performance levels. For end-of-course exams, scores fall into the categories of mastered, on track, approaching, and below.
For grades 3-8, the performance levels are mastered grade level, on grade level, approaching grade level, and below grade level.
In each case, students who score in the top two categories are considered to be meeting or exceeding expectations. Students take TNReady in four subjects: math, English language arts, science, and social studies. For grades 3-8, the 2017 social studies exam was a field test and therefore did not generate reportable results.
"We continue to be incredibly proud of the work our educators and students are doing each day, and TNReady provides us with one key feedback loop that we all can use to provide every student in Tennessee with a high-quality education," Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. "These results show us both where we can learn from schools that are excelling and where we have specific schools or student groups that need better support to help them achieve success – so they graduate from high school with the ability to choose their path in life."
Along with scoring well, Cox pointed out the school system’s graduation rate, 94.1 percent, increased as did its average ACT score, 18.9, both of which have been points of emphasis.
“We still have challenges,” Cox said, noting the system did not see the improvements it wanted to see in its Value Added score although it did very well in high school achievement and amongst students with disabilities.