The Tennessee Department of Education has released its annual Report Card to reflect the progress in K-12 education for the 2011-2012 school year. This includes district and school-level data on achievement and growth.
Tennessee has created its own accountability system which replaced the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability measures under No Child Left Behind.
The new system of accountability focuses on ensuring growth for all students every year and closing achievement gaps by ensuring faster growth for those students who are furthest behind.
“Bradley County Schools has many reasons to celebrate,” stated Angie Gill, system data analyst and testing coordinator. In Academic Achievement Bradley County Schools received a ‘B’ in grades 3-8 math, reading/language and science. A grade of ‘B’ is equivalent to the state level grade in these categories. Bradley County Schools received a grade of ‘A’ in social studies which is above the state grade. The system also received an ‘A’ in writing for grades 5, 8 and 11, which are the only grades scored in this category. All core courses are taught by “highly qualified” teachers which is reflected in the report card.
Ms. Gill also reported that Bradley County Schools reached or exceeded Achievement Goals in all areas: 3rd grade math and reading, 7th grade reading and math, grades 3-8 reading and math, Algebra I, and English II. “In fact, our achievement in many of those areas was above the state average in the “ALL” category,” stated Ms. Gill. Bradley County Schools has utilized Response to Intervention (RTI) for several years with success which is reflected in this year’s Report Card. The Report Card also indicates that last year’s freshman class had proficiency levels above the state average with Algebra I at 65.5% compared to the state average of 61.7% and English I at 71.4% compared to the state average of 67.2%. The graduation rate for Bradley County Schools increased from 87.6% to 93.9%.
Even with these significant gains, the Bradley County School District, under the new accountability system, has been found to be a system In Need of Subgroup Improvement. The system has successfully reached goals set for achievement and will now focus on closing the subgroup gaps set by the Department of Education. There will be a focus on particular groups of students such as Economically Disadvantaged (ED) and Students with Disabilities (SWD). Five Bradley County elementary schools were identified as Focus Schools. This designation does not indicate low achievement levels. In fact, these schools showed significant gains in achievement overall with three of the five focus schools being above the state average. The focus schools have work to do in subgroups which will be addressed this year. Bradley County Schools also had two schools designated as Reward Schools. These schools are in the top 10% in the state based on achievement.
“I appreciate all the hard work and dedication of our teachers, administrators, and support staff,” stated Johnny McDaniel, Director of Bradley County Schools. “I appreciate the support of our parents and business partners and the commitment from our students to do their very best. We have many exciting challenges ahead of us as we prepare for Common Core, work on gap closures in our subgroups, and try to secure the necessary funds to more efficiently and effectively meet our future goals,” continued Mr. McDaniel. “Bradley County Schools strongly believes that all children can learn, and we are constantly looking for innovative ways to increase scores at all levels in our district. With the work of a dedicated faculty and staff, support from our parents and community, and a data-driven focus on instruction, we are preparing students to be both college and career ready.”