Bradley County Schools Releases 2016-2017 EOC Scores Report

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Bradley County Schools released the following report on Wednesday:


"The Tennessee Department of Education has released district data from last year’s TNReady End of Course exams. These are the only tests results that have been released at this time. We are expecting to receive TNReady scores for grades 3-8 in October.

With last year being the 1st year of TNReady for those grades levels, due to the suspension of testing in 2015-2016, standard setting had to occur over the summer and the State Board of Education has to approve the new cut scores for those grade levels. With the new results, Bradley County’s students in grades 3-8 will have helped to set a new baseline for future growth based on new, educator developed expectations that will better ensure all students are on track to graduate prepared for college and careers. With this new baseline, we are setting a new high bar that our students and teachers have been working toward for several years. Scores fell into one of four new achievement levels: mastered, on-track, approaching, and below. The new categories aim to help teachers and parents more easily understand if students are ready for the next step in their academic journey and identify which students may need additional support – which is the goal of assessments. Along with the new achievement levels, high school families and teachers will receive new score reports to help them support their students. 

"Tennessee Department of Education released state level results from 2016-2017 earlier this month. Test scores were expected to increase this year for EOC exams, and they did in most courses, as TDOE set higher expectations for all students. As we have transitioned to better academic standards over the past several years, assessments have become more fully aligned to what and how educators are teaching, and they now include rigorous questions that measure students’ critical thinking, writing, and problem solving skills. Students’ achievement scores in English, Math and US History from last year can be compared to 2015-2016 results because we now have 2 years of TNReady scores for EOCs with a much more rigorous assessment with higher levels of expectation. There was no change to the assessment in Biology or Chemistry the past few years. 

"For accountability purposes in EOC exams, TDOE looks at participation rates for districts/schools to make sure we are reaching the 95% required participation rate in all subjects and subgroups. They are also looking at how effective we are overall in teaching English Language Arts (English I, II, & III combined) and how effective we are in teaching math (Integrated Math I, II, & III combined). Bradley County met the participation requirement for all subjects and subgroups in EOC exams. 

"With the release of this new baseline data, we are happy to tell you that at the District level, Bradley County Schools is above the state average for the percentage of students who are On-Track or Mastered in all high school ELA and math courses as well as in Biology, Chemistry and US History. We also saw an increase in all EOC subjects except for Integrated Math I. For high school English, Bradley County had 38.8% of students on-track/mastered compared to the state average of 34.4%.

"As part of the new accountability system put in place by TDOE, we are 

focused on reducing the number of students who are scoring in the lowest category, below. We are very proud of the data that shows we have reduced the number of students in this category for all students, in all subgroups, in ELA from 22.3% to 13.9%. This was a huge accomplishment and something we worked towards by providing training for teachers in Kagan Engagement strategies and Differentiated Instruction. Our most significant subgroup change was with our Economically Disadvantaged students in ELA. We reduced the number of students in the lowest performing category 14.5%. We also were able to reduce this percentage for our Special Education students and our Black/Hispanic/Native American subgroup. While this is all exciting news, we know that we have a lot of work to do to increase the number of students who are ready for college and career. While our students in ELA made positive gains, we will continue to focus our efforts on improving the quality of instruction for all students and especially subgroup of students with disabilities. 

"Students in English I had 32.9% on-track/mastered compared to the state average of 29.5%. In English II, 43.1% of students were on-track/mastered which is also above the state average of 39.2%. In English III, BCS had 36% of students on track compared to 34.4% across the state. We are also seeing an improvement with ACT scores in English and Reading. As more students meet the ACT benchmark in English, this increases their opportunities when going to college, as they do not require a remedial course in English. For Accountability purposes, TDOE has a lag year with reporting ACT and Graduation Data. This is due to the inclusion of summer graduates and not having all the final data back in time for accountability. So even though we are looking at 2016-2017 test scores, we are looking at the Graduating Class of 2016 for ACT Composite Scores. The 2016 Graduating Class saw 41.4% of students with a 21 or above composite score. This is an increase from 2015 with only 33.8% of those graduates with an average ACT composite score of 21. 

"2015-2016 was the first year of full implementation of Integrated Math in Bradley County Schools. This past year, 2016-2017 Students in Math I, II, and III had 30.1% of students on-track/mastered compared to the state average of 21.5. We saw a slight decrease in the number of students scoring in the lowest category, below, but not as significant as what we observed in ELA. We are anxious to begin the conversations between ELA and Math teachers to see what strategies worked in ELA that can be incorporated into Math subjects. Math I was the only subject in which we saw a decrease in the number of students scoring in the on-track and mastered category. We saw a significant decrease of 13.3% from 2015-2016 to this past year. With the addition of a new Math Instructional Leader, we will begin the work of analyzing TNReady data and comparing that to our Curriculum Maps and the TDOE Assessment Blueprints. Math II students had 38.3% on-track and mastered versus the state 21.8%. While the state saw a decrease in Math II scores, Bradley County saw and 8.3% increase and are very excited. Math III was our lowest at 25.7% on-track/mastered compared to 18.2% for the state. While this is our lowest performing group, we did see a 5.2% increase from the previous year and see that as a positive. 

"The EOC assessment for Biology and Chemistry did not change for 2016-2017. BCS had 61.5% of students on-track/mastered in Biology. This is slightly above the state average of 59.3%. We 

experienced a slight increase in our Chemistry scores this year with 42.5% of students achieving the proficiency level compared to the state average of 41.2%. 

"U.S. History changed in 2015-2016 to an assessment that involved written responses as opposed to multiple choice. BCS had a slight increase from 35.2% of students scoring on-track/mastered to 36.9% this past year. This is significantly above the state average of 30.8%. This shift in how we have traditionally taught history to incorporate more writing has been difficult and we expect to see our instructional practices improve over time. 

"Now that we are beginning to receive our TNReady scores, we will begin the process of analyzing our data and prioritizing our needs. This reflective practice will shape our instructional strategies as we refine our system strategic plan. We are still waiting for other pieces of the puzzle to be released to develop the full picture of where we stand as a district. TVAAS Growth Data has not been released for EOCs and this is another important data set that we need to analyze to see how effective our school programs are and how we might improve instructional practice and provide support to our teachers. Over the next few months we expect to receive data for our 3-8 students and our students in 2nd grade who took the new, and optional, Tennessee Assessment at that grade level. We are also waiting to receive our 2017 Graduation Rate Data and our ACT scores.

"We are pleased with the progress our students and our teachers are making. Our vision is ‘Growing Students-Building Fututes’. Our progress is evident, but we are not satisfied and look forward to meeting the challenges ahead. “Once all of the data is gathered and analyzed we will have a better understanding of where we are as a district with the transition to TNReady and we will communicate that to our stakeholders,” said Director of Schools, Dr. Linda Cash. 

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