Press release from the Tennessee House Republican Caucus; August 1, 2012:
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Department of Education this week recognized school districts across the State that significantly improved student performance and narrowed achievement gaps under Tennessee’s new accountability system.
Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman announced the 21 districts that earned Exemplary designations for the 2011-12 school year. Among those receiving recognition was the Rutherford County School District.
Rutherford County, along with the 20 other districts, raised proficiency levels on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests; made substantial progress in closing gaps between groups of students; and ensured improvement for racial minorities, as well as students with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Rutherford County is blessed with talented teachers and a community that supports our school system. These results show we’re serious about excelling in education,” stated Representative Joe Carr (R—Lascassas), who serves as Vice-Chair of the Education Subcommittee and Secretary of the full Education Committee.
Representative Rick Womick (R—Rockvale) remarked, “Student achievement has been at the center of our education reforms. We want to make sure our children are equipped with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century job market and these results show we are on the right path.”
“Our students are led by incredibly gifted teachers,” added Representative Mike Sparks (R—Smyrna). “These remarkable individuals are helping our students close the achievement gap and ensuring Tennessee is a model for teaching excellence.”
A district-by-district look at Tennessee’s growth on this year’s TCAP can be found here.
Tennessee’s new accountability system replaces No Child Left Behind’s Annual Yearly Progress measures. Rather than expecting all districts to meet the same benchmarks year after year, the new system acknowledges that districts are starting from different places and rewards those that show the most growth.
The system, adopted after Tennessee secured a waiver from part of NCLB earlier this year, looks to districts to increase achievement levels for all students and reduce achievement gaps that exist between certain groups.