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Rutherford Co. Schools Improve, Named Exemplary

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.

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Press Releases

Schools, District Awarded for Improving Student Behavior

Press Release from the Tennessee Department of Education, Feb. 9, 2010:

Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Education is proud to announce the 2009 Character Education Best Practices Merit Winners announced last night during the 2010 Tennessee School Counselor and Administrator Leadership Institute.

The following schools and school district have been recognized as models for improving attitudes and behavior within their schools:

Stanford Elementary Montessori Design School – Metro Nashville Public Schools

Ruby Major Elementary School – Metro Nashville Public Schools

Sumner County Schools – awarded for district-wide activities

Receiving special commendation for outstanding work:

Richard Hardy Memorial School – Richard City Schools

Granbery Elementary School – Metro Nashville Public Schools

“We congratulate these schools for putting an emphasis on the whole child and positive school environment,” Education Commissioner Timothy Webb said. “The habits students develop while in school carry over into their homes and communities. School staff and students should be proud of the work they’ve accomplished.”

Representatives shared information regarding their efforts to incorporate character education across curriculum, participating in service projects and efforts in increasing parent and community involvement. Schools and school districts compete annually by submitting their strategy and evidence of its effectiveness.

“Creating a safe and welcoming learning environment is one of the most important things we can do for a child,” said Laura Nichols, Director of Character Education. “These schools have developed methods that prove successful and they should be commended.”