2009 State Report Card
New baselines set for Value Added and Achievement ScoresKnox County Report Card
The Tennessee Department of Education today released the 2009 Report Card on schools and districts which is based on some significant changes in the calculation of Value Added and Achievement scores.
“The bottom line is that with the new baseline of comparison, it will be somewhat harder for our schools and our school district to achieve an ‘A’ in student growth on the state report card, but our goal remains the same: we continue to work diligently to ensure that every child receives an excellent education and experiences appropriate academic growth every year."-Dr. Jim McIntyre, Jr.
The baseline year for assessing student growth or value added data has been reset using the 2009 test scores. Previously, all students were compared to students who took state tests in 1998. All students in all demographic groups have shown tremendous gain compared to 1998 under the previous calculation.
“The performance of Tennessee students has outpaced 1998 results to the point of making the 1998 standard inadequate to measure contemporary achievement progress,” said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of the Knox County Schools.
James Ashby, Chief Accountability Officer for the Knox County Schools explains there is no reason why the extraordinary increase in test performance among Tennessee students over the past decade could not be attributed to students having learned concepts at an accelerated rate against a particular test standard established in 1998. “While that rate is complimentary to the efforts of educators in Tennessee, it must be recognized that it was achieved against a standard that the Tennessee Department of Education has recognized is not sufficient for advanced academic rigor,” he said.
“The performance of Tennessee students during the past few years has antiquated the 1998 reference much the same way that current Olympic sprinters have antiquated the time trials of world class sprinters from the 1960s,” said Ashby.
The most valid use of the 2009 Report Card results is to interpret the school performance against the 2009 standard, a standard that is based upon a higher level of performance than what was observed among Tennessee students in 1998.
“When our parents and community stakeholders see the revised report card, it is imperative to remember that the grades cannot be used to ascertain whether student academic growth is at a higher or lesser level than in previous years,” said McIntyre. “What we can determine from the data is how students are performing against the new standard.
“The bottom line is that with the new baseline of comparison, it will be somewhat harder for our schools and our school district to achieve an ‘A’ in student growth on the state report card, but our goal remains the same: we continue to work diligently to ensure that every child receives an excellent education and experiences appropriate academic growth every year.
“The Knox County Schools grades on the state report card show solid academic performance, but also lots of room for improvement. While we have experienced very sound growth in schools around the county, we also have some results that are certainly not where they need to be. In particular, student academic growth in mathematics is an area where we have much more work to do. However based on the state report card we have seen growth in the areas of science and social studies, which is encouraging.
“We appreciate receiving the state report card, because we use these data to help inform our instruction and our educational decisions as we move to higher academic standards here in the state of Tennessee. As we seek to achieve our vision of Excellence for All Children, the state report card will help us to better understand where our strengths and weaknesses are, and how we can ensure high-level student learning in every classroom in the Knox County Schools.”
Information on the Report Card is available at http://tn.gov/education/reportcard/index.shtml.