In the 2012-2013 school year, Bradley County students met 9 out of the 11achievement targets for grades 3-12 that were established by the Tennessee Department of Education, officials said Wednesday.
The system reached or exceeded Achievement Goals in grades 3-8 math, third grade reading, third grade math, seventh grade reading, English III, Algebra I, Algebra II, seventh grade math, and Graduation Rate. "We are extremely proud of our Graduation Rate of 93.9%," stated Angie Gill, System Testing Coordinator and Data Analysis. "Our teachers have worked hard, and we will continue to do so as we strive for increased student learning."
Third grade reading scores for Bradley County Schools increased 4.5 percentage points to 56.2% proficient or advanced which is above the state average of 48.8%.
"The Response to Intervention (RTI) process that has been in place for several years in Bradley County Schools has had a tremendous impact on student achievement by allowing us to identify struggling students early and provide intervention," Director of Schools Johnny Mr. McDaniel said.
Also, third grade math scores have risen to 63.9% of students being proficient and/or advanced in Bradley County Schools compared to the state average of 59%.
Students in Bradley County Schools also showed major gains in STEM subjects, specifically science and math, officials said. Algebra I scores increased 7.3 percentage points to 68.5% of students scoring proficient and advanced while Algebra II saw an amazing growth of 17.5 percentage points.
"This notable achievement in Algebra," according to Dan Glasscock, Supervisor of Secondary Education, "is a credit to the collaborative effort of our math teachers at both Bradley Central and Walker Valley High Schools. They focused on the state math standards and really challenged their students to succeed."
The proficiency rate in grades 3-8 science grew by more than 2.3 percentage points to 64.6%. Math in grades 3-8 increased 3.5 percentage points. Biology increased 5.7 percentage points to 68.2% of our students scoring proficient and advanced.
The Tennessee Department of Education has set measurable accountability goals for each district for improving the educational system and utilizing data to ensure growth for all students. Through First to the Top and the Department of Education's accountability system, Tennessee is striving to raise student achievement levels and reduce achievement gaps among particular subgroups. The department is preparing to release district achievement scores this week as a reflection of how schools and districts are doing at meeting these ambitious goals.
Officials said the vision for Bradley County Schools "is to be a welcoming center of educational excellence committed to total student development utilizing data-driven, research-based strategies."
"We believe that all children can learn, and our mission is to prepare students to be college and career ready upon graduation," stated Mr. McDaniel.
He said, "During the 2012-2013 school year, Bradley County Schools paid extremely close attention to meeting the needs of students with disabilities (SWD). This was one of two subgroups previously identified by the Tennessee Department of Education as needing focused attention. Bradley County Schools improved achievement scores with this population of students to help close the gap between SWD and Non-SWD."
"We are very proud of our students and teachers for their efforts and hard work which resulted in improved achievement scores," stated Ruth Ann White, Director of Special Services. "We recognize that our scores indicate a need for continued improvement, and we are focused on higher achievement and academic growth for all students."
The Economically Disadvantaged (ED) subgroup in Bradley County Schools improved in all accountability areas for achievement. "One of our brightest spots in achievement was in Algebra II where ED students increased 17.7 percentage points," remarked Director McDaniel. ED students in Algebra I also showed an increase in proficiency levels by 8.8 percentage points.
Five schools were identified as Focus Schools last year. These schools focused on closing the gap between ED students and non-ED students. During the year, faculty and staff received training on how to work with children of poverty. "Best practice strategies were shared with all schools in the district to impact the whole district and not just a few schools," stated Terri Murray, Federal Projects Director.
District-level TVAAS Composites are scores that assess growth at the district level. These scores are comprised of SAT 10 (grades K-2), TCAP (grades 3-8), and EOC (grades 9-12) testing results. One-year, two-year, and three-year trends are reported for each district-level composite: Overall, Literacy, Numeracy, and Literacy and Numeracy.
"I am very pleased to report that we have scores of level 5 in all areas of our District-Level Composite," stated Mr. McDaniel. "A score of '5' is the most effective where students are making substantially more progress than the Standard for Academic Growth."
He said that "even with these significant gains, the Bradley County School District, under the new accountability system, will most likely be found to be a system 'In Need of Subgroup Improvement.' Though the system has successfully reached achievement goals for 2012-2013, continued areas of focus will be on closing the achievement gaps among particular subgroups, such as Economically Disadvantaged, Students with Disabilities, Limited English Proficient, and Black and Hispanic students, as well as increasing student achievement for all students.
"We believe that all children can learn, and our mission is to prepare students to be college and career ready."