County makes grades in statewide report

County makes grades in statewide report

Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 11:06 pm
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
On the whole, the Obion County School System has received good marks on its annual report card from the state Department of Education.
Two comprehensive reports on the status of Tennessee’s school systems — the Adequate Yearly Progress report and the State Report Card — were released Friday afternoon.
The review of the schools statewide is partly based on standardized student achievement tests administered in the spring of 2010 and also evaluates student attendance rates, graduation rates and other test data.
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is a requirement of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates that schools statewide achieve 100 percent proficiency in reading and math by 2014. AYP also sets a goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2014.
Overall, the 3,785 students in the Obion County School System’s eight schools are doing very well academically, according to Obion County Director of Schools David Huss.
He said the county’s graduation rate continues to increase and student achievement scores are good.
For grades 3-8, based on TCAP scores, the Obion County School System district-wide received A’s in math, social studies and science and a B in reading/language. These are higher than the statewide grades of C’s in math, reading/language and science and a B in social studies.
The district received A’s in TCAP writing for both grades 5 and 8, as well as 11th grade.
All of Obion County’s schools are in good standing and met the benchmarks for graduation, attendance and proficiency scores in designated subjects, according to the report, but the district as a whole did not meet AYP on special education reading/language arts. Huss said it was anticipated as a target area and the problem has been addressed with Balanced Literacy and Reading Re-covery programs implemented some time ago.
“We were disappointed, but it did not shock us,” Huss said. “We had started some time ago to address the problem and should start seeing better results going forward.
“We met AYP at all of our schools and in every other area, with no areas targeted for improvement,” he added.
Huss said he is not disappointed with the system’s overall report card considering mandated changes in curriculum and standards. Schools and districts statewide faced challenges with increased standards and assessments that were implemented during the 2009-10 school year by the state Board of Education after being introduced in the summer of 2008.
Huss said Obion County’s teachers and administrators are continuing to work toward specific goals and are seeing considerable progress. The annual reports from the state Department of Education target areas of strengths and weaknesses.
“Student achievement scores are very good — 3 A’s and a B — and students are achieving,” he emphasized.
Tennessee Commissioner of Education Bruce Opie said the past year marked a “monumental year” for education reform in the state. He said several factors converged to impact student success, including increased standards and assessments, but educators showed great progress regardless.
The Obion County School Board is expected to receive an overview on county schools’ test scores when the board gathers for its regular monthly meeting Friday morning at 7:30 at the board office in Union City. The meeting was rescheduled from Monday night due to the threat of inclement weather.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 1.12.11

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