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Report card is in
Hickory Creek teacher BEST.jpg
Hickory Creek teacher Stephanie Ward helps first-grader Leo Salazar with a math problem at his desk. - photo by Lacy Garrison

The Tennessee Department of Education has issued its annual report card for schools – and this time there are no paddlings for bad results.

After a third straight year of mishaps involving state testing, the Tennessee General Assembly voted to hold schools harmless for poor scores. However, the General Assembly also said the testing calamity shouldn’t prevent glowing results from being applauded.

That said, Irving College School and Hickory Creek Elementary take their place as the top performers in the Warren County School System. They have both been honored over the past month as Reward Schools.

As an overall school system, Warren County scored slightly below the state average in most categories. WCHS does have a better graduation rate (94.2 percent) than the state average (89.1 percent).

“We’re in relative range of the state in academic performance,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox.

All figures were derived from testing done in the spring at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

This year, the state implemented a 4.0 scale to gauge performance in many categories. The scale is like GPA with 4.0 being the highest. For a look at how each school fared in certain categories, see page 5A.

Irving College and Hickory Creek received perfect 4.0 scores in two categories. For Irving College, the categories were Academic Achievement and Chronic Absenteeism. For Hickory Creek, the categories were Academic Growth and Progress in English Proficiency.

The worst two scores came from WCHS. The school scored .1 in two categories -- Academic Achievement and Academic Growth.

Cox said WCHS used the online testing system which was so problematic and led to the General Assembly action. He said some students had the test shut down while they were taking it. Others couldn’t log on or save their results. This created a level of frustration.

“The high school is the only school that had online testing that failed due to state testing failure so I feel that our scores are not fully an accurate picture,” said Cox. “That said, we definitely have room for improvement at the high school, but I have confidence in our staff, students, and administrators that we have made the needed adjustments to improve.  Hopefully state testing will go smoothly and we will get a more accurate picture.”

According to state statistics, 84 percent of schools earned a score higher than 2.0 for graduation rate. WCHS had a score of 3.3.

In producing students “ready to graduate,” 67 percent of schools earned higher than 2.0. WCHS scored 2.5.

The Warren County School System was determined to have a “success rate” of 33 percent. That’s behind the state average of 39.1 percent.

Here are some of the categories measured:

Academic Achievement – This shows whether students are performing on grade level, or above, based on state tests. In this category, 43 percent of schools earned higher than 2.0.

Academic Growth – This shows whether students are making progress from year to year, regardless of if they are on grade level. The state says 50 percent of schools earned higher than 2.0.

Chronic Absenteeism – These are students who miss at least 10 percent of the school year, or about 18 days for a full year. There were 71 percent of schools to earn higher than 2.0.