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Lake Road school honored statewide

Lake Road school honored statewide
An Obion County school is among 169 statewide honored as Reward Schools — the top 5 percent of schools in the state for annual growth and the top 5 percent for academic achievement.
Lake Road Elementary in the Obion County School System earned Reward School recognition for progress.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Has-lam and Education Commis-sioner Kevin Huffman on Monday announced 169 schools as the 2011-12 Reward Schools.
“Under the new state accountability system, Lake Road Elementary is a Reward School because of its academic progress, one of Tennessee’s top 5 percent for year-over-year progress, measured by gains in student achievement,” said Nancy Hamilton, assistant director of schools for the Obion County School System.
“The school system is proud of our students and staff at Lake Road for their efforts and hard work and encourage our students to continue their improvement throughout this school year,” she said.
In accordance with Tennessee’s new accountability system, designed through the state’s waiver from No Child Left Behind, the Tennessee Department of Education names Reward, Priority and Focus schools.
Reward Schools are the top 5 percent of schools in the state for performance — as measured by overall student achievement levels — and the top 5 percent for year-over-year progress — as measured by schoolwide value-added data. These 10 percent of schools receive recognition for their success under the accountability system.
Priority Schools are the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in Tennessee, in terms of academic achievement. These 83 schools are eligible for inclusion in the Achievement School District or in district Innovation Zones and they may also plan and adopt turnaround models for school improvement.
No schools from the Obion County or Union City school systems were named as Priority Schools.
Focus Schools are the 10 percent of schools in the state with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students, such as racial and ethnic groups, students from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds, students with disabilities and English-language learners.
The department has named 167 schools as Focus Schools — among them Union City Elementary School and Union City High School from the city school system.
Likewise, under the accountability system, school districts are measured on their abilities to raise overall achievement and close gaps between groups of students. Districts reach Exemplary status for raising proficiency levels, narrowing achievement gaps and guaranteeing growth for all students.
The Union City School System was honored last month for its designation as an Exemplary district, according to a front page story published July 31 in The Messenger.
The Reward Schools honored Monday in Brentwood are spread across 70 districts, located in major cities as well as rural areas, and 102 of the recognized schools serve mostly economically-disadvantaged populations. A full list of the schools can be found on the department’s website at www.tn.gov/education/accountability.
Many of the state’s schools celebrated by tuning in for a special webcast featuring U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Haslam, First Lady Crissy Haslam and Huffman.
“Tennessee is leading the way in education reform, and these schools demonstrate two key focuses of education in our state: high levels of achievement and continuous growth,” Haslam said at an event held at Kenrose Elementary School in Brentwood. “Job creation and education are inextricably linked, and continuing our momentum in education reform is important as we work to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. We are proud of the teachers and staff at each of these schools and excited to recognize their efforts on behalf of Tennessee students.”
Tennessee has set out to become the fastest-improving educational system in the country by raising student performance each year. For the first time, the state has recognized Tennessee schools that have shown the most progress year-over-year alongside the schools with the highest achievement scores on statewide tests.
Nearly a quarter of the 169 schools on the Reward School list actually earned both designations, rising to the top 5 percent for annual value-added growth while also ranking in the state’s top 5 percent for overall achievement, according to a new accountability system adopted through Tennessee’s No Child Left Behind waiver.
The 2011-12 Reward Schools made these impressive accomplishments during a year when Tennessee saw unprecedented gains on the statewide Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP. As schools across the state made improvements and reached higher levels of proficiency, the 169 Reward Schools led the way.
Because Tennessee’s new accountability system rewards growth and recognizes schools’ varying baselines, every school in the state can strive for the Reward Schools designation.
“We believe that all students deserve strong schools where they can grow to high levels of achievement,” Huffman said Monday. “At the beginning of each year, every school in this state should know that they have a shot at becoming a Reward School.” Published in The Messenger 8.28.12

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