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School report card released


The Tennessee Department of Education released its annual comprehensive report card on pre-k-12 education Nov. 10.

The report card includes information on state, district and school-level achievement, demographics, discipline and educator preparation.

Knox County Schools Super-intendent James P. McIntyre said the report held both good and bad indicators fro Knox County as a whole.

“In terms of overall achievement Knox County Schools and many of our individual schools show fairly significant rates of students at proficiency and above and get pretty good grades in terms of academic achievements,” McIntyre said.


“You also see something that is encouraging, for me at least, as you look at overall achievement. You do see steady state or an increase in achievement in all of our subject areas as we look at grades three through eight and grade 11.

“Now on the other side of the ledger you do have some definite challenges that are identified by the report card.

“As we look at it from a district perspective, there are in particular a couple areas of concern. One is middle school mathematics. What we see in middle school mathematics is our overall achievement is still relatively strong, but our growth is not where we want it to be,” he added.

Other areas of concern for McIntyre is the district’s graduation rate and high school attendance.

“When you look at high school attendance we actually slipped slightly in terms of where we were last year to where we are this year and that is certainly going to be an area of concern and focus for us,” he said,

According to the report card, Knox County’s graduation rate is 79 percent.

McIntyre said that is “simply not good enough.”

All of the Farragut Schools did well on the report card.

Farragut High School scored A’s in all categories and high school attendance and graduation rates were above average for the state.

Farragut Middle School scored A’s in every category accept mathematics and social studies, where it garnered a B.

All of Farragut Middle and Intermediate schools’ teachers were found to be at 100 percent proficiency.

McIntyre has been working with the School Board to implement some policies to proactively attack some of the concerns he has with the report for the district and literacy is the key.

“When I came into the district this summer I looked at a good number of reports and data indicators and one of the things that was most disturbing to me was that we had, in our very recent history, about 25 percent of our incoming ninth-grade students were at least two grade levels behind in reading,” McIntyre said.

“What that means is, if you are a ninth grader and you are reading at a seventh-grade level, not only are you having trouble in English and language arts, you are going to be struggling in mathematics, in social studies, in science because you are accessing the content of those academic areas through reading.

“We want to make sure that all of our students are not only reading at grade level by grade three, but they continue to stay on grade level,” he added.

McIntyre also cited the academy structure as a tool for ensuring success at the secondary level.

“One of the areas that we see as a real challenge is the transition from middle school to high school. Some of our schools are doing some great work around supporting that transition,” he added.

Farragut High School instituted Boost Camp this summer to help incoming ninth-graders who have been identified to have a weakness in certain areas.

The two-week camp was designed to introduce students to the school in a non-threatening manner and to the high school curriculum in small groups so as to make them more comfortable with the transition.

The Tennessee State Report Card can be found, in its entirety, at www.tennessee.gov/education/reportcard and can be accessed by district or individual school.

 

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