State recognizes 14 Metro schools with 'reward' label

Monday, August 27, 2012 at 6:51pm

Fourteen Metro schools have received the state’s top recognition — earning the label “reward schools” — Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Education announced Monday as part of the state’s new accountability system.

Reward schools are the 169 schools statewide either among the top 5 percent in highest TCAP and other end-of-year tests, or the top 5 percent of schools in year-over-year progress as measured by value-added data. Figures are according to achievement results from the 2011-12 school year.

Memphis City Schools led the way with 20 reward schools, while Metro Nashville Public Schools finished second with 14. The two schools districts are Tennessee’s largest.

“This is a great accomplishment for our schools,” Director of Schools Jesse Register said.

In Metro, four schools earned the “reward” label because of test performances alone: Lockeland Elementary Design Center, Hume-Fogg High Academic Magnet, Nashville School of the Arts and Percy Priest Elementary.

Five schools are reward schools because of the progress they demonstrated from the previous year: Bellshire Elementary Design Center, Cotton Elementary, DuPont Elementary, McGavock Elementary and New Vision Academy, a charter school.

Five reward schools demonstrated high marks in both performance and year-to-year gains. Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary, Head Middle Mathematics/Science Magnet, Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet School, Meigs Middle Magnet School and Rose Park Math/Science Middle Magnet.

Earlier this month, the state announced six struggling Metro schools are priority schools, and therefore in line for potential state intervention. Under state metrics, another 13 are “focus schools” for having large achievement gaps between demographics.

Haslam, Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and others announced the state’s reward schools at a Monday media event at Kenrose Elementary School in Brentwood. 

3 Comments on this post:

By: ChrisMoth on 8/28/12 at 7:36

The list of schools is very interesting. In 1/3 of the list, academic segregation of students explains the top 5% ranking easily. Hume-Fogg, MLK, Meigs Middle, Head. So, I don't grasp what the victory is.

At Percy Priest Elementary, economic segregation (10% Free and Reduced Lunch explains the top 5% performance. Again, no victory there.

JT Moore middle is a "focus school". Even though our affluent students are leaping ahead (TVAAs "5") at a much faster rate than students at Meigs Middle, we don't get a "reward" because our un-academically-screened Free and Reduced lunch kids are not yet advancing at a healthy rate. So, JT Moore is "penalized" because we work with a population that Meigs is granted a waiver from even seeing in their building. This is statistical madness, but I'm optimistic JT Moore show gains with poor kids this year. Parents at JT Moore are committing $20,000 to supplementary teacher training to help with this.

Other schools on the list must be doing something very right... because they are demonstrating that zoned MNPS-run schools can achieve. CONGRATULATIONS to those schools and I hope the City Paper will do a followup on those zoned schools. What is in their tap water? Nashville is dying to hear about it!

Chris Moth, 2020 Overhill Dr

By: Rasputin72 on 8/29/12 at 7:03

After I read this treatise from Chris Moth, I remembered the old adage, "Opinions are like A-holes, everybody has one."

By: hmscoachhardin on 8/29/12 at 1:59

Just to clarify, Head is a lottery magnet. Parents choose to sign up for it and their number comes up. There is no entrance requirement than the application. The diversity is quite large, serves over 70% Free/Reduced Lunch, and has shown tremendous gains in the past year, after being on the "priority list." Head has given MLK and Meigs a run for their money with students who are not "the cream of the crop," as it is with MLK and Meigs. The waiting list every year ranks up there with Meigs and MLK, and some years even surpasses, even without the "academic" label. Why? This is due to Head making strides, working with students of all achievement ranges (not just the affluent children with all 5's, and has achieved success. Don't rain on the parade because someone's school did so well. Also, make sure you understand the difference between lottery magnet and academic magnet before bashing a school that deserves the praise it has been given.