Bartlett school board reflects on latest TNReady test scores

BCS140127-B_WordmarkHow Bartlett schools fared in the recently released TNReady test scores was a major topic at the Dec. 15 school board meeting.

The new high school results for these statewide assessment tests, released on Dec. 13 for districts and individual schools, showed positive steps for Bartlett City Schools and indicated where the district can improve.

One key measure was the Level 5 designation—the highest possible—as a composite for the district’s schools in the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, or TVAAS.

For this period, TVAAS data excluded grades 4-8 because of last year’s suspension of TNReady testing for certain grades.

BCS Superintendent David Stephens said that, in general, schools initially aim to be at Level 3, which means the students grew academically as expected if they were in a class with an average teacher in an average school. Higher scores are even better results.

Scores for other districts have been a mixed bag, particularly during this year of setting new baselines because of testing changes.

Another key measure for Bartlett students was the ACT score, which has increased annually for the past three years. It went from 20.5 for the 2014-15 school year to 20.8 for 2015-16. That difference may seem small, but the steady increase each year is pretty significant, Stephens said.

The data point that BCS is really proud of is how many students scores 21 or higher on the ACT, Stephens said. The district’s score of 46.8 percent indicates how many Bartlett students qualified for the HOPE Lottery Scholarship.

BCS also saw an increase in how many students are hitting all four of the college-readiness benchmarks (21.1 percent overall). By area, the scores showed 66.8 percent in English, 31.2 percent in math, 48.8 percent in reading and 33 percent in reading.

“What this data does is it gives us an opportunity to go in and look and see how things are working and what do we need to work on,” Stephens said. “… We’ve got work to do, but we’re heading in the right direction.”

In other business, he advised the board about the upcoming addition of six vertical mills (estimated at $19,000 each) on one side of the high school’s new advanced manufacturing lab. Grant funding via the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Memphis will make this possible. Stephens mentioned how the high school’s increasingly well equipped advanced manufacturing lab is getting students ready to step into TCAT’s medical device manufacturing campus planned for Bartlett.

“What they told me is that once that lab is completed on the other side, there will not be a high school, junior college or TCAT in the state of Tennessee that will have a better facility than what we’ll have on Bartlett’s campus,” he said. “I think this is the last piece that connects the dots and really puts this thing together.”

At the Dec. 15 meeting, the board also re-elected Jeff Norris as school board chair and Bryan Woodruff as vice-chair and Tennessee legislative liaison.

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to