Knox County Schools parents to receive individual student performance reports

  • Higher standards mean higher expectations

    Parents with children in the Knox County Schools will be receiving their child’s Individual Student Performance reports on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. Individual Student Performance reports provide a comprehensive review of how students performed on the state’s Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) tests taken in Spring 2010. Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of the Knox County Schools, will host a news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 1:30 p.m. at Karns Middle School to discuss the results.

    This year parents will notice some changes as the result of reforms at the state levels.

    Tennessee adopted revised academic standards through the Tennessee Diploma Project in 2008 and during the 2009-2010 school year, students completed their first year of learning and testing on those standards. The tests given in 2009-2010 reflect not only revised academic standards, but a much higher bar for the “proficient” and “advanced” levels of performance.

    “Parents should understand that while our scores may not look as favorable in the short-term due to higher expectations, it does not mean their children are learning less under the new standards. In fact, they are almost certainly learning more – we’ve just raised the bar academically,” said McIntyre. “Supporting these higher academic standards is absolutely the right thing to do to ensure our children receive a high quality education and have the opportunity to be academically successful, economically competitive, and personally fulfilled.”

    The performance report this year will include new levels – “basic” and “below basic” - that are used to help identify how far students need to progress to be proficient.

    A new definition of proficiency now indicates a mastery of knowledge in a subject rather than minimal understanding. The combination of higher standards and proficiency means, ultimately, more students will be college and career ready. But it also means harder tests, and a potential dip in the immediate future with lower test scores and performance at the school level.

    “While challenging in the short term, these changes mean that our students will be better prepared for long-term success in an increasingly complex world and an increasingly global economy,” said McIntyre. “They will be better prepared to not only compete with their peers in Tennessee, but with their peers in high-performing nations across the world.”

    The Knox County Schools is dedicated to helping parents during this transition, including providing comprehensive information regarding higher standards, TCAP results, and resources for parents to utilize for help on its website at knoxschools.org. If parents have questions about student test scores, please contact our schools -- we will work together for each student’s success.

How to read the Individual Profile Report

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    The Individual Profile Report presents your student's results on the Achievement Test. This document explains the test results presented on the report for the TCAP Achievement Test. The Achievement Tests measure a student's academic knowledge and skills in Reading/Language Arts, matha\ematics, science, and social studies. Each content area has set time limits in which to administer the test.

    The Spring 2010 Achievement Tests were aligned with new curriculum standards for reading/language arts, mathematics, and science. The social studies curriculum standards were not revised. As you know, students this year completed their first round of learning and testing under the state's new and higher standards. Sometimes test scores and grades dip when schools put in place higher standards.

          
    Understandng your student's Individual scores - Seconday example
    Here is a sample of a seocndary school Individual Profile Report, in this case, Algebra I. Your student's performance on each one of the Algebra I Reporting Categories is given. The Achievement Level fo reach Reporting Category is further designated as Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, or Advanced. The Reporting Category Performance Index (RCPI) is an estimate of the number of items your student would be expected to answer correctly if there were 100 such items in that category. For example, an RCPI of 67 indicates your student would correctly answer 67 of 100 questions in that category.
         
    Frequently Asked Questions
    This collection of questions may answer most of your questions about what the achievement test is about, how it is administered and when, what is on it, and much more.

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    What it means
    Below Basic – Students who perform at this level have not demonstrated mastery in academic performance, thinking abilities, and application of understandings that reflect the knowledge and skill specified by the grade/course level content standards and are not prepared for the next level of study.
     
    Basic – Students who perform at this level demonstrate partial mastery in academic performance, thinking abilities, and application of understandings that reflect the knowledge and skill specified by the grade/course level content standards and are minimally prepared for the next level of study.
     
    Proficient – Students who perform at this level demonstrate mastery in academic performance, thinking abilities, and application of understandings that reflect the knowledge and skill specified by the grade/course level content standards and are prepared for the next level of study.
     
    Advanced – Students who perform at this level demonstrate superior mastery in academic performance, thinking abilities, and application of understandings that reflect the knowledge and skill specified by the grade/course level content standards and are significantly prepared for the next level of study.