The state's 2014 Report Card for DeKalb County Schools reveals that the system received A's and B's in the areas of achievement and value added growth in grades 3-8.
Students take the TCAP tests in the spring. The report card released last week represents data collected from the spring of 2014 for the state, school districts and individual schools. As in its past version, the report card also includes end-of-course exam percentages, ACT results, graduation percentages and other school-related profile information.
The DeKalb County School System earned B's in Math, Reading, and Science while Social Studies received an A. Even though a letter grade is the same as last year, the actual scores were up for Math and Social Studies. "Achievement is a measure of how well students performed on the TCAP tests in 2014. How high did they score? Were they proficient? “There are many areas to celebrate that showed an improvement over 2013,” remarked Data Analyst Lisa Bell.
(Value Added) Growth is measured by comparing test performance over the previous years of testing," said Bell. Value Added or (Growth) grades were as follows: A in Math; B in Reading, Science and Social Studies. These are the same letters grade as the 2013 Report Card from the State. Social Studies did show an increase in growth over 2013.
The DCHS graduation rate was 94.9% for 2014 which is well above the state average of 87.2%.
The DCHS Junior and Senior Classes ACT Composite three year average was 18.3. This falls short of the predicted ACT score of 19.3. The state’s average was 19.3. Officials say ACT study online courses have been implemented at DCHS for students to help improve ACT results.
DeKalb County High School End of Course Valued Added Growth for Algebra I and II, English I, English II, and English III, Biology I, Chemistry, and US History are also shown on the Report Card. Instead of letters grades, the high school subjects receive a status of “Above”, “NDD”, or” Below”. Above indicates that the test averages for that subject were above the predicted scores. The “NDD” status indicates those End Of Course subjects are meeting the predicted scores. The “Below” status indicates students did not score at the level predicted for that subject. Algebra I, II, English I, and US History moved from a “Below” status in 2013 to “NDD” for 2014 which means all of those subjects are meeting value added expectations. English II and III continued to receive the “Below” status. “Biology had above average growth again last year," said Bell. “This is the first year to release Chemistry results for End Of Course testing in Tennessee,” stated Bell. Chemistry also met the standard for growth.
"I'm very proud of the Report Card. The growth that has been made and the accomplishments that have happened," said Director of Schools Mark Willoughby. "When I look at some of our other school systems surrounding us, I am pleased with how DeKalb County Schools are doing compared to those schools. What would really be wonderful is if parents would send a note to the teachers telling them that you appreciate their hard work. More has been put on the plates of teachers in Tennessee and in my opinion; they have been less appreciated by the state department of education in the last few years than they ever have been. They are doing more and working harder than they ever have. I think we owe our teachers in DeKalb County and across the state of Tennessee more than we could ever pay them for what they do in shaping the lives of our children. I think we should show our appreciation to them more and more every day," said Willoughby.
For the 2013-14 school year, DeKalb Middle School’s achievement improved in Science and Social Studies from “B’s” to “A’s”. The scores increased from 54 to 56 for both Science and Social Studies. Math and Reading maintained “B’s”.
Growth for DeKalb Middle School’s State Report for Social Studies was a “B’” this year. Both
Math and Science fell from “A’s” in 2013 to “B’s for 2014. Reading maintained a “D” and continues to be
an area of focus in the county.
Northside’s State Report Card for achievement shows a slight score increase in Math and Science over the previous year. Reading achievement fell from a 52 to a 50, and Social Studies maintained a score of 52.
“B’s” were earned for all academic subjects for achievement in the 2013-2014 school year.
Growth for Northside’s State Report Card improved over the previous year. Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies earned all “A’s” for the 2013-2014 school year. Math improved from a 4.6 to a 5.7. Reading fell from a 5.3 to a 2.9. Science increased from a 1.5 to a 2.9. Social Studies increased from a 2.2 to 2.6.
DeKalb West School’s State Report Card for achievement shows that Math maintained a ”B” while Reading, Science and Social Studies all maintained “A’s” for the 2013-2014 school year. While achievement scores maintained for Reading at 56, Math, Science and Social Studies fell slightly.
Growth for DeKalb West School’s State Report Card shows that Math and Social Studies maintained “B’s”. Science growth decreased from a “C” to a “D”, and Reading growth maintained an “A”.
Results at Smithville Elementary mirror Northside Elementary because it is considered a feeder school.
Accountability answers the question (Did the district meet the proficiency goals set by the state?)
DeKalb County met 9 out of 11 of these goals. This exceeded the state's requirement of 6 out of 11 to meet accountability. Reward schools are also a part of Tennessee's accountability system.
The state recognizes the top 5% of schools across Tennessee each year based on achievement and/or progress which is growth. Northside Elementary has been identified as a Reward School for progress (growth) this year.
The 2014 state Report Card offers the ability for the public to view detailed breakdowns for each school and district across the state. The new design was released with the 2013 Report Card and offers users the ability to create personalized comparisons between state, school, and districts on the following measures: achievement, ACT scores, graduation rate, student enrollment and ethnicity, and value-added composite scores. As an example, parents and community members can now compare individual schools or districts to see how well they are preparing students for college and careers, or to see which has a higher percentage of students on grade level in a specific subject area The Report Card site also features a new College and Career Readiness tab. This tab includes data on graduation rates, ACT scores, college readiness benchmarks, and the percentage of students who are eligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship.
“We think it’s important for parents and students, as well as school and district leaders, to know how well their schools are doing each year,” said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.
As the state strives to advance outcomes for all Tennessee students, these results allow educators to identify areas that need the most improvement. Through its regional offices, the department provides resources, support, and expert analysis to help districts and schools with data-driven interventions.