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New Tennessee Report Card reveals local school systems' strengths and weaknesses

Rick Wagner • Dec 5, 2018 at 9:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport City Schools and Rogersville City School aced the Academic Growth category in the just-released Tennessee Report Card for 2017-18.

However, Sullivan County Schools had 56.2 percent of its students in career technical education, and Hawkins County Schools had a graduation rate of more than 97 percent and a 5 in English language arts growth.

Each of those four school systems was tops locally in those categories, although all four also had areas that need improvement.

State education officials on Tuesday morning unveiled the new Tennessee Department of Education Report Card, which gives numerical rankings to school districts and individual schools across the Volunteer State. In a letter to KCS families, the Kingsport system highlighted some of its accomplishments in the revamped Report Card, which is designed to be more user friendly and be easier to understand.

“The Tennessee Department of Education has communicated that they hope parents will view this information and understand that quality education is more than just a score. We agree,” the KCS letter to parents said. “They also want this report card to support a conversation between families and schools. If you have questions about the report card, you are encouraged to reach out to your child’s school to engage in that conversation. KCS administration and staff are excited about the many successes found in the data. At the same time, plans have already been developed to address areas where this report has revealed needed improvements.”

To access information about any public school system or public school in the state, go online to the 2017-18 Report Card at https://reportcard.tnk12.gov/. For more information on how the school ratings work, go online for an explanation of how the report was built and definitions used.

As for Sullivan, Kingsport, Hawkins and Rogersville schools:

— Overall, KCS rated a 5 (the highest level) in the category of Overall Student Growth. Sullivan County and Hawkins County each ranked a 1, while Rogersville City was also a 5.

— KCS rated a 5 in the category of Mathematics Growth. This takes into account student performance in a variety of math classes in grades 3-12. Sullivan and Hawkins ranked a 1, while Rogersville was a 3.

— Hawkins ranked a 5 in English language arts, compared to 3’s for Sullivan, Kingsport and Rogersville. Hawkins got a 5 in science, KCS a 3 and Hawkins and Sullivan a 1.

— KCS rated a 5 in the category of Social Studies Growth, which is not part of the overall achievement ranking. This reflects student performance on state assessments for grades 3-8 social studies and U.S. history. Rogersville City ranked a 5, while Sullivan and Hawkins each ranked a 1.

— The percent of KCS science students scoring a level of on-track or mastery (69.3 percent) was almost 15 percentage points higher than the state average. The assessments included in this rating include grades 5-8 science, Biology I and chemistry. Rogersville was 75.9 percent, compared to 55.8 for Hawkins and 52.3 for Sullivan.

— The KCS and Sullivan graduation rate, both 94.8 percent, was more than 5.5 percentage points higher than the state average of 89.1. In addition, the percentage of KCS graduates enrolling in a postsecondary programs in the fall following graduation (69.3) was also more than 5 percentage points higher than the state average of 64.1 percent. Hawkins was 97.1 and Sullivan 94.8. Those enrolled in post-secondary programs were 65 percent for Sullivan and 58.7 percent for Hawkins. Rogersville had no score for either category because it has only elementary and middle school programs.

— The average KCS ACT Composite Score of 22.4 was 2.3 points higher than the state average of 20.1. This score reflects the performance of the 2017 graduating class and differs slightly from what ACT released this year. the Sullivan ACT was 19.8, Hawkins, 19. Rogersville had no ACT scores because it has no high school.

The Report Card also measured students chronically absent from school and progress of English language proficiency by English language learners.

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