2008 Report Card Reveals School System Meeting Necessary NCLB Benchmarks

November 10, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The 2008 Report Card on the DeKalb County School System from the Tennessee Department of Education reveals that it is in "Good Standing" for No Child Left Behind AYP (Average Yearly Progress) status as every school in the system met the necessary benchmarks in all demographic subject areas as well as the additional indicators.

Dr. Carol Hendrix, Supervisor of Instruction for Grades 7-12., in a prepared statement, says "The 2008 Report Card reflects strong overall gains in student academic achievement. The DeKalb County School System is moving in the right path giving students the tools they need to succeed."

"There are a number of reasons that the system is improving year after year: Strong emphasis placed on quality instruction. Through federal programs, teachers are provided professional development helping teachers polish their skills."

"There is a continuous use of student data as a tool to track student progress and determine when focus is needed in particular areas. Teachers are able to identify when help is needed and put interventions in place."

"Each school is providing time for teachers to collaborate and share best practices as well as discuss specific needs of students and deficits in teaching and the curriculum."

"Through differentiated instruction, teachers are tailoring instruction to meet a variety of learning styles and level of understanding."

"Each school has developed a school improvement plan identifying areas of need and developed strategic plans to meet these needs."

"Development of strong parental involvement through various parent groups and programs."

"Quality after school and summer programs are in place to provide tutoring and enrichment activities to enhance student performance."

K-8 Non-Academic Indicators:
The school system average attendance for K-8 for 2008 was 94.1%, which is above the state goal of 93%

The promotion rate for 2008 was 98.8%, again above the state goal of 97%

9-12th grade Non-Academic Indicators:
The attendance rate for grades 9-12 was 93.3%, slightly higher compared to the state's attendance average of 93%

The graduation rate for DeKalb County High School is 83.4%, above the benchmark goal of 75% for the DeKalb County School System and above the state graduation rate which is 82.2%

The event dropout rate is 2.9%, significantly below the state goal of 5%.

K-8 Academic Indicators Math and Reading/Language:

Math 2008 Target 86%

DeKalb County exceeded the math target of 86% by 6% with a proficient and advanced average of 94%, which is 4% higher than 2007 and 3% higher than the state average.

Reading/Language 2008 Target 89%

DeKalb County exceeded the reading/language target of 89% by 4% with a proficient and advanced average of 93%, which is 3% higher than 2007 and 1% higher than the state average.

The most significant gains were realized in specific demographic groups with double digit gains in both math and reading/language

In math, students with disabilities gained 26% from 2007. Reading/Language revealed four demographic groups with double digit gains including Students with disabilities 15% gain, Hispanic 17% gain, African American 10%, and Limited English Proficient 12%.

9-12 Academic Indicator Math and Reading Language

No child Left Behind requires a separation of student achievement data by content area (Math and Reading/Language plus Writing) which identifies proficient and advanced percentages for grades 9-12. DeKalb County met AYP as well as increasing the advanced categories in both math and Reading Language.

Students with disabilities increased math proficient/advanced scores to 83% in 2008 from 68% in 2007.

Student Academic Achievement results for grades 3 to 8, show that the DeKalb County School System outperformed the state in all subject areas and made continuous gains from 2006 to 2008.

For 2008, DeKalb County earned an "A" in both Math and Reading/Language and Science and a "B" in Social Studies.

Actual 2008 scores were as follows: 61 in math, up from 59 in 2007; 58 in Reading/Language, up from 57 in 2007; 57 in Social Studies, up from 56 in 2007; and 61 in Science, up from 58 in 2007.

The DeKalb County School System outperformed the state in both 5th and 8th grade Writing Assessment for three years in a row while maintaining an A average each year.

For 2008, DeKalb County earned an "A" in 5th and 8th grade writing, the same as 2007 with scores of 4.3 in each category

DeKalb County High School improved on average ACT scores from 2007 to 2008 but fell slightly behind the state three year average.

The ACT results in grades 9-12 for 2008 (individual year) show that the composite score was 19.8, up from 19.3 last year; 20 in English, up from 19.3 in 2007, 18.2 in Math, up from 17.9 last year, 20.5 in Reading, up from 20.2; and 19.9 in Science/Reasoning, up from 19.5 last year. The 2008 state three year averages are 20.7 composite, 20.8 in English, 19.8 in Math, 21.1 in Reading, and 20.3 in Science/Reasoning.

DeKalb County High School received a 4.1 in writing assessment which was an A average in 2008, slightly below the state average.

The DeKalb County School System made great gains in value added on the grades (3-8) 2008 report card over the past three years. Value Added measures student progress within a grade and subject, and demonstrates the influence of in-school factors on student's achievement. Value added measures the impact the teacher and school have on student improvement/ability levels.

DeKalb County earned a B in math, up from a C last year, and an A in Reading/Language, Social Studies, and Science, the same grade as last year.

Math has an A average in grades 5th, 7th, and 8th
Reading/Language has an A average in grades 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th
Social Studies has an A average in grades 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th
Science has an A average in grades 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th.

The state set a predicted score of the high school Gateway and End of Course test which compare the school progress with the progress of students across the state. DeKalb County High School was at the state average or above average in all subject areas.

Math Algebra I: NDD (Not detectably different)
Science Biology: Above Average
English II: NDD
Math Foundations: NDD
English I: Above Average
Physical Science: Above Average
US History: NDD

Highlights of the 2008 report card on DeKalb Middle School are as follows:

The school met the No Child Left Behind Average Yearly Progress for 2008
In Math, all students scored above 2007 levels
In Reading/Language, all students scored above 2007 levels
All Achievement Scores were above last year's average
Highest Writing Assessment Scores in the county and were above the state average
In Value Added, Math students had an A average in 7th and 8th grade
In Reading/Language, students scored an A average in 6th and 8th grade
In Social Studies, students earned an A average in 7th and 8th grade
In Algebra I, 8th grade students scored above the state average
100% of the teachers were deemed highly qualified and the school had a 94.8% attendance rate

The report card on DeKalb West School reveals the following;

The school met the No Child Left Behind Average Yearly Progress for 2008
In Math, all students scored above the 2007 level
In Reading/Language, all students scored above the 2007 level
Students overall earn A's in both Academic Growth and Value Added in Math, Reading/Language, Social Studies, and Science
All subject were above the state averages
Students earned an A in both 5th and 8th grade in Writing Scores
In Value Added, students had A's in 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th grade Math
Students earned an A in 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th grade Reading/Language
Students in 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th grade Social Studies scored A's
Science students scored A's in the 4th and 5th grade
100% of teachers were deemed highly qualified and the school met the attendance (94.8%) and promotion rates and were above the state averages.

Highlights of the report for Northside Elementary School are as follows:

The school met the No Child Left Behind Average Yearly Progress for 2008
In Math, all students scored above 2007 levels
All students in Reading/Language were above 2007 levels
Students in Math and Reading Language scored above state averages
All Achievement Scores were above last year's averages
Students earned an A average in the Writing Assessment Score exceeding the state average
In Value Added, students earned an A average in 5th grade Math.
In Reading/Language, students earned an A average in 4th and 5th grade
Social Studies students scored an A average in 5th grade
Science students earned an A average in 4th and 5th grade
100% of the teachers were deemed highly qualified and the school had the highest attendance rate in the county at 95.7%

The report card on DeKalb County High School reveals the following:

The school met the No Child Left Behind Average Yearly Progress for 2008
In Math, students scored the same as 2007, but exceeded the state average
Students earned an A in Writing Assessment for the year 2008
The ACT score was above the 2007 levels in composite, English, Math, Reading, Science/Reasoning.
Academic Growth was all average or above the state average
The graduation rate was 83.4% meeting the benchmark set for DeKalb County and exceeding the state graduation rate average 82.2%.

Based on the Average Daily Attendance in the DeKalb County Schools for 2008, the per pupil expenditure was $7,093, which is below the state average of $8,345.

Local funding is at 21% of the total system budget which is approximately one half of the 41.3% spent by the average school system in Tennessee.

Dr. Hendrix says "The DeKalb County School System is providing an education for all children while narrowing the gap that once existed between different demographic groups, providing students with the necessary tools to be successful. We are not exactly where we want to be, but we are certainly making progress in the right direction."

"The DeKalb County School System with the School Board, Director of Schools, Central Office Administration and staff, Principals, Teachers and all other personnel including cafeteria staff, custodial staff, educational assistants, secretaries/bookkeepers and bus drivers are meeting the challenge in providing quality service for the most valuable asset this county has, our children."

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