State ranks MNPS in top third of school districts

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 5:20pm

Metro Nashville schools join those in the middle of the pack statewide for meeting goals set for reaching academic targets and closing achievement gaps, according to state education officials.

The district ranked among the top 30 percent of the state’s school districts, scoring an “intermediate” grade in meeting specific state-set objectives in the 2012-13 school year. The ranking is the same distinction earned last year.

“I’m satisfied that we are making progress. I am not satisfied with where our children are until they all exceed performance standards,” said Jesse Register, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools.

“We don’t want to give up on any of our children now. It’s a long road, a lot progress needs to be made. The most important thing is that we have a positive trend,” he added.

The state fell short on three of 11 benchmarks designed to measure student achievement, namely reading and language arts scores for third graders, seventh graders and the third through eighth grade cohort, according to Paul Changas, executive director of the district’s Department of Research, Assessment and Evaluation.

This year’s grading of Tennessee’s school districts is the second annual measurement of accountability ushered in by the Tennessee Department of Education after securing a waiver from portions of No Child Left Behind.

MNPS joined 31 other districts labeled as “intermediate.”

The state pointed to five schools as “exemplary” three districts as “in need of improvement” and 96 districts “in need of subgroup improvement for at least one subgroup” in closing the achievement gap such as with low-income, minority population or students with disabilities.

Instead of expecting all school districts to meet uniform benchmarks, the system measures districts on how well they do meeting goals that show growth. Districts are ranked as exemplary, intermediate or in need of improvement.

Last year the state ranked MNPS as intermediate, meeting seven of nine benchmarks.

Of the five districts in Tennessee ranking as “exemplary” under the state grading scale, all but one sits in or near West Tennessee and the other is in far East Tennessee. They include Bells City Schools, Bradford Special School District, Elizabethton City Schools, Perry County Schools and Stewart County Schools.


5 Comments on this post:

By: TennesseeJed on 8/6/13 at 6:50

If MNPS is one of the better school systems in the state, then why is the legislature trying to cram a charter authorizer law down its throat? I smell a rat...

By: ChrisMoth on 8/6/13 at 8:28

Funnier still - Kentucky seems to have 0.2 to 0.5 higher average ACT scores than TN, with a backdrop of perhaps more poverty. Yet, Rand Paul was down in TN last week wanting Kentucky to slice and dice their students with more charter-choice schemes, like Tennessee.

Increasingly, the numbers seem to be telling us that hanging together - staying energetically committed to educating all children in Nashville - is the right course.

But, we need to look at a lot more numbers before we can be entirely sure of this conclusion.

Chris Moth, 2020 Overhill Dr

By: tomba1 on 8/6/13 at 11:53

"The ranking is the same distinction earned last year."

So Jesse shows up a few years ago sucking up to the Mayor et all. We (taxpayers) spend 2-300 MILLION dollars more and look where we are today! SUCKERS !! and Jesse gets a raise!!

Jesse's mega million dollar girl - the school board

By: JeffF on 8/7/13 at 5:50

As the article said, this was not a ranking based on comparisons between school systems, but in goals set by the school systems for themselves. I do not think anyone believe Metro attained goals equal to those set by Williamson, Maryville, Oak Ridge, out any other successful system in the state.

Second, I will assume the schools in the Achievement District were excluded from our numbers.

I would hate for people to take this story and turn it into proof that the situation is not bad in the public schools. All you have to do is watch a teacher or principal meeting to know that a fair number of our kids are screwed.

By: ancienthighway on 8/7/13 at 1:29

Improvement doesn't happen in a year or two. It does take time and resources. Not showing a decline is good, but improvement will be better when it happens.

If the State would give last year's initiatives a chance it may happen, but instead they receive no immediate gratification so they are jumping on the next band wagon of initiatives.

It takes more than the State though. Dean, Register, and the MNPS need to take a closer look at their contributions.