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State releases report cards on Bartlett, Arlington, Lakeland schools

Standardized test scores for local public schools look sobering, although educators are cautioning that parents should view them with a grain of salt. Perhaps several grains. The data from the 2015-16 school year (the latest-available data, released on Dec. 13) shows widespread score drops, but it is a “recalibration” year based on a new test.

The scores are from TNReady, the state’s assessments in math, English language arts, social studies, and science. TNReady is part of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, which has been the state’s testing program since 1988.

State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen told educators not to be discouraged when she spoke on the topic Tuesday. “These scores show a student’s potential trajectory,” she said. “They are not a student’s destiny.”

See the Chalkbeat.org article explaining the details on how Shelby County scores in particular lagged, where Memphis stands, and the perspective needed to understand each district’s school report card at bit.ly/TennSchoolReportCards2015-16.

The report cards cover 2015-2016 and includes the following local school districts. Information is available at the state and the district level online in the new report card format at bit.ly/TNReportCards. Information is available in the old report card format online at bit.ly/TNReportCards-classic. Many more categories of information are available at these links, including college/career readiness, education climate and more.

Bartlett City Schools

  • School district’s profile information: 8,636 students in grades PK-12, with 17.5 percent economically disadvantaged. The district has 2.2 percent English language learners (the percentage of students whose first language is not English and qualify for services related to English as a second language.) The district’s student body includes 13.6 percent of students with disabilities who qualify to receive special education assistance. The district employed 489 teachers as of Dec. 1 for the 2015-16 school year and had 33 administrators. The per-pupil expenditure was $9,071 (total operating expenditures on a per-pupil basis, including federal, state and local funds).
  • 98.8 percent highly qualified teachers (one who holds at least a bachelor’s degree, is fully licensed in the state and submits the required documents to demonstrate competency in the content area(s) being taught).
  • 95.4 percent attendance (the number of days students attend school vs. the number of school days)
  • 88.6 percent graduation rate (the percentage who graduated within four years and a summer, compared to those students who entered ninth grade four years earlier)
  • 20.8 average ACT composite score (the district’s average for students taking this national college-level entrance exam, which allows a possible score of up to 36)
  • 46.8 percent ACT21+ (the percentage of students who meet the 21 composite on the ACT, which qualifies Tennessee students for the HOPE Scholarship)
  • 34.3 percent TNReady ELA (TNReady is a set of statewide assessments to measure students’ knowledge, skills and progress. This shows the percentage of students who scored in the top two tiers.)
  • 25.4 percent TNReady Math (This shows the percentage of students who scored in the top two tiers of the TNReady Math assessment.)
  • Level 3 on TVAAS Literacy (TVAAS, the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, is a statistical analysis that measures student growth. Level 4-5 means that students tended to grow more in literacy than their peers in Tennessee. Level 3 means they grew at about the same rate, and Levels 1-2 means they tended to grow less.)
  • Level 4 on TVAAS Numerancy. (This score indicates Bartlett students tended to grow at around the same rate as their peers across the state in this category.)
  • Student ethnicity is 62.3 percent white, 28.1 percent black/African American, 4.2 percent Hispanic, 4.2 percent Asian, 0.6 percent Native American/Alaskan.
  • Level 5, TVAAS composites, all schools (Note: TVAAS data excludes grades 4-8 because of last year’s suspension of TNReady testing in grades 3-8).

Arlington Community Schools

  • School district’s profile information: 5,015 students in grades K-12 at four schools, with 6 percent economically disadvantaged. The district has 2.3 percent English language learners (the percentage of students whose first language is not English and qualify for services related to English as a second language). The district’s student body includes 11.1 percent of students with disabilities who qualify to receive special education assistance. The district employed 260 teachers as of Dec. 1 for the 2015-16 school year and had 17 administrators. The per-pupil expenditure was $7,821 (total operating expenditures on a per-pupil basis, including federal, state and local funds).
  • 99 percent highly qualified teachers
  • 96.2 percent attendance
  • 96.4 percent graduation rate
  • 22.5 average ACT composite score
  • 63.2 percent ACT21+
  • 39.4 percent TNReady ELA
  • 23.8 percent TNReady Math
  • Level 1 on TVAAS Literacy
  • Level 1 on TVAAS Numerancy
  • Student ethnicity is 75 percent white, 15.1 percent black/African American, 5.8 percent Hispanic, 3.5 percent Asian, 0.3 percent Native American/Alaskan.
  • Level 1, TVAAS composites, all schools (Note: TVAAS data excludes grades 4-8 because of last year’s suspension of TNReady testing in grades 3-8).

Lakeland School System

LSS currently has only an elementary school, so the data is more limited, particularly for the 2015-16 school year when testing data was limited.

  • School district’s profile information: 889 students in grades K-5, with 7 percent economically disadvantaged. The district has 4.9 percent English language learners (the percentage of students whose first language is not English and qualify for services related to English as a second language.) Sixteen percent of Lss’s students have disabilities and qualify to receive special education assistance. The district employed 56 teachers as of Dec. 1 for the 2015-16 school year and had four administrators. The per-pupil expenditure was $8,177 (total operating expenditures on a per-pupil basis, including federal, state and local funds).
  • 99.1 percent highly qualified teachers
  • 96.2 percent attendance
  • Student ethnicity is 75.8 percent white, 10.6 percent black/African American, 3.3 percent Hispanic/Latino, 9 percent Asian, and 0.3 percent Native American/Alaskan.

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

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