When the Tennessee School Report Card for the 2010-11 school year came out last year, the school system’s incoming Director of Schools Bobby Cox provided an in-depth analysis of the results as they applied to Warren County.
But the report card website provides a variety of other information about our schools, including a system profile.
Warren County has 11 schools and 6,377 students. All schools are 100 percent SACS accredited and all 11 qualified as safe schools. The system has 462 teachers and 34 administrators.
Student body demographics showed 5,455, or 81 percent, of students are white, while the next largest segment, 875, or 13 percent, is Hispanic, more than double the African American segment at 319, or 4.8 percent. The remainder are divided between Asian/ Pacific Islander at 44 students, and Native American/ Alaskan at 21 students.
Of this population, 454 students, or 6.8 percent, were listed as Limited English Proficient, possibly due to the relatively large Hispanic population in Warren County.
Gender distribution shows 3,234, or 48.2 percent, of students are female, while 3,480, or 51.8 percent, are male.
One glaring statistic is the number of students with disabilities, which is listed as 1,280, or 20.1 percent. Though this sounds overwhelming, Cox said there is a wide distribution of types of special needs students.
“That category runs from students with low-level disabilities all the way to those who are gifted,” Cox said. “So there’s a wide range of services we offer these students,” Cox added, noting that while most wouldn’t look at a gifted student as having a disability, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act recognizes their special needs. “Gifted is a category that’s included in the IDEA, so we offer a gifted program to meet their needs. It’s a broad spectrum there, so you have 20 percent of our students categorized in that area.”
Another eye-opening statistic is that 4,415 students, or 64.8 percent, are considered economically disadvantaged.
“That’s just the average,” Cox said. “We have some schools, like West and Bobby Ray, that are close to 70 or 80 percent. Students that are economically disadvantaged qualify for free or reduced lunch, that’s basically the definition,” he added. “When you talk about being in a recession and 10 to 11 percent unemployment, as we’ve said before, all the things you see happening in your community, you see reflected in your schools. That’s just another indicator. Normally when we see high unemployment we see high economically disadvantaged numbers.”
In the 2010-11 school year, Warren County spent a significant amount less than the state average per pupil. The county spent $8,235, while the state average was $9,084.
Per-student spending in the counties surrounding Warren County varied widely. Coffee County spent $8,779, Cannon County spent $8,097, Grundy County spent $9,205, DeKalb County spent $7,666. Van Buren County spent the most at $9,689, and White County spent the least at $7,555. Warren County landed right in the middle of this seven-county spread, and all but two of the counties spent less than the state average.
In metropolitan counties, the expenditures showed equally wide distributions. Davidson County, Nashville, spent $11,080, Shelby County, Memphis, spent $8,957, Knox County, Knoxville, spent $8,508 and Hamilton County, Chattanooga, spent $7,638.
One of the primary indicators of the success of any secondary education system is the graduation rate. Warren County has been edging toward a 90 percent rate with 88.9 percent in 2010, and 87.2 percent in 2011.
The 2011 graduation rate by subgroup is enlightening as it indicates the population segments which need the most attention. Report card statistics show 88.3 percent of white students graduate, as opposed to 83.3 for black, and 75 percent for Hispanics. Asian/Pacific Islanders and Indian both show 100 percent graduation rates, which is probably at least partially due to the small number of students of those subgroups.
Economically disadvantaged students graduated at a rate of 83.5 percent, students with disabilities showed a graduation rate of 78.1 percent, while limited English proficient had the lowest graduation rate at 71.4 percent.
For more information on the 2010-11 Report Card, visit the website at edu.reportcard.state.tn.us.