DCHS Listed as "High Priority" School In State's Annual Progress Report

August 7, 2007
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Education released its annual progress report this week listing which Tennessee schools and school systems met performance standards for the 2006-07 school year. In accordance with No Child Left Behind, the DeKalb County School System is listed as "Good Standing" as it met necessary benchmarks for the 2006-2007 school year.

According to Supervisor of Instruction Dr. Carol Hendrix, "DeKalb West School, Northside Elementary and Smithville Elementary are all listed as "Good Standing" as they met all No Child Left Behind benchmarks for the 2006-2007 school year in 37 categories. DeKalb Middle School met all benchmarks for the 2006-2007 school year except for the category of "Students with Disabilities".

"DeKalb County High School met all No Child Left Behind benchmarks in academic areas during the 2006-2007 school year but failed to meet the additional indicator graduation rate. DeKalb County High School is listed as a "High Priority" school as a result of not making the benchmark graduation rate for the 2006-2007 school year."

"DeKalb County High School is among 72 other high schools across the state that did not meet all necessary benchmarks according to No Child Left Behind regulations. DeKalb County High School is listed as "School Improvement 2" indicating that DCHS did not improve its graduation rate two years consecutively. DeKalb County, through the appeals process, met the high school graduation rate for the 2005-2006 school year but remains on the list of schools needing improvement as a result of the 2006-2007 graduation rate."

Tennessee reports which schools have made ‘adequate yearly progress' (AYP) toward the goal of 100 percent of students being proficient in reading and math and a 90 percent graduation rate by 2014.

"We need to not lose sight of the fact that behind the test results are real students who rely on these schools for a quality education," Education Commissioner Lana Seivers said. "The nature of Tennessee's accountability system is to analyze the data to identify areas of need and provide customized resources to boost student achievement. The intent of everyone involved is to make the changes necessary to deliver Tennessee students the education they deserve."

Among Tennessee's newest school improvement efforts is the Tennessee Diploma Project, launched in January in affiliation with the America Diploma Project, to strengthen the high school curriculum. This initiative encourages all high school students to complete a common curriculum designed to prepare students for the demands of the workplace and higher education. The state is also realigning all K-12 standards to improve achievement and better prepare students for post-secondary opportunities.

Schools and districts must meet performance standards in 37 categories at each grade span to be deemed in good standing. Schools or districts that fall below the same standard for two or more consecutive years are identified as high priority, and must meet that performance standard for two years in order to return to good standing.

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