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Local schools deemed ‘satisfactory’
TNReady - kids in Cindy Hunt's room.jpg
Local students can rejoice that their school system has been deemed “satisfactory” by the Tennessee Department of Education. Hickory Creek second graders pictured from left are, Jacob Pease, Kinsley Simpson, Jayden Parsley and Trey Blakely.

The state report card has been sent home and Warren County High School improved in all academic and non-academic areas, according to TNReady scores released Thursday.

Chief among those gains is the high school graduation rate, which rose to 95.9%, an improvement of 1.7% from the year before.

“Annually it is our goal to improve the number of students scoring in the on-track and mastery range from the previous year,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “If we see positive movement, then we feel we have helped more students reach their goals from the previous year. We have goals for reducing chronic absenteeism, improving the graduation rate and the ready graduate rate.”

According to a letter from Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn, the final determination for the Warren County School District is it performed “satisfactory” for the 2018-19 school year.

Satisfactory means the district is improving on average but is missing growth expectations. 

Warren County finished with a score of 2.0. A score of 2.1, or just one-tenth of a point higher, would have placed Warren County in the “advancing” category. 

One area where Warren County Schools did not perform well was the Tennessee Valued Added Assessment System (TVAAS) scores, which measure growth of local students compared to all students across the state. In this area, the school system dropped from 4 to 1 on a 5-point scale with 5 being the best.

“I’m not satisfied with the value added score. I don’t think it’s a fair measure of what we did,” said Cox. “If we improved in every area, at minimum we should be a 3, but when you compare us to every school in the state, and they did better than we did, then it drops our value added score. I don’t want people to think if their school received a 1 then it’s a bad school. They need to look at the body of work and big picture of how we’ve improved locally.”

Cox added, “It doesn’t mean that our schools are bad or failing, but means we are not improving as fast as what the expectations were compared to schools across the state.”

Other snapshots of how the Warren County School System fared are listed below:

• 9.5% increase in Algebra I grades 8-12

• 2.6% decrease in English Language Arts grades 3-8

• 3.2% increase in English I grades 8-12

• 2.3% increase in English II grades 9-12

• 2.4% increase in Math grades 3-8

• 4.9% increase in Social Studies grades 5-8

• 12.6% increase U.S. History grades 9-12

• 2.4% reduction in numbers of chronic absenteeism

• 5.1% improvement of students considered Ready Graduate (students who completed at least 3 Early Post-Secondary Options course or scored a 21 or higher on the ACT

• Improvement of Graduate Rate by 1.7% to 95.9%

• Decrease in TVAAS score from 4 to 1

• Improvement at WCHS in all academic and non-academic areas.

“I am very proud of the results and the improvement we showed this year,” said Cox. “I feel our staff, students and teachers worked very hard, and this is evident. They did what was asked of them during the school year. We did not reach all of our goals, but we improved. I am not satisfied with our TVAAS score, and I don’t think this score is a fair measure when we showed improvement in every area. We will work to continue to improve this year from the previous year. Our teachers do an excellent job. We have some celebrations and some challenges for the district and in schools and are working to address them and improve.”

The Warren County Schools District Results for 2019 were (from 1 being the lowest to 5 being highest):

System Composite TVAAS decreased from 4 in 2018 to 1

The System Composite Literacy decreased from 4 in 2018 to 1

The System Composite Numeracy decreased from 2 in 2018 to 1.