State report card shows room for improvement

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By Beth Braden

The department of education school report cards are in and it’s not great news for Campbell County, but director of schools Donnie Poston says the data gives administrators and teachers ideas of where to go next.

“It’s given us some good bench marks of where we want to go,” he said.

While the report card said that the system met the majority of its achievement goals, the majority of gap closure measures weren’t met.

“We’ve seen some basic improvements in just about all the areas. The one which was the area of language arts and reading, we didn’t drop a whole lot but you can sure tell we emphasized the math improvements,” Poston said. “The math shoots up and the reading kind of plateaus a little.”

As a whole, grades 3 through 8 TCAP scores are below the state average of a B with a C in math, and a D in science, social studies and reading and language arts.

Additionally, students must take TCAP writing assessments in grades 5, 8 and 11. Writing scores across the entire district are equal to or very close to the state average of 4.2.

ACT scores have dropped, but Poston said there’s “no question” new testing requirements have contributed to the lag. The new guidelines call for all juniors and seniors to take the ACT.

Campbell County’s average composite score for 2012 was a 17.6. The state average is 19.2.

Students must make a 21 to be eligible for the Tennessee lottery HOPE scholarship.

Campbell County High School

Algebra 1 and English II scores are down somewhat and behind the state averages. Only 47.3 percent of students tests advanced or proficient, down from 50.8 percent in 2011. The state average is 55.3.

“We definitely have some improvements to make,” said CCHS Principal Jamie Wheeler.

Current measures in place include tutoring during the hour-long lunch period. Students can spend part of the period eating and the other part of the period in tutoring. Plans are also in the works to make part of the flex period a time for ACT prep. ACT averages for this year were 17.8.

“You have to be creative sometimes,” she said.

Grade 11 TCAP scores are 4.2.

Caryville Elementary School

TCAP achievement is up for grades 3 through 8 is up by almost 8 points from 2011. This year, 40.7 students were proficient or advanced. In 2011, that number was 32.9. The state average is 47.2. In specific TCAP subjects, gains were made in math, social studies and science to bring the school to a C. There was a slight change in numeric grades for reading and language arts, but the letter grade remained at a C.

Elk Valley Elementary School

Students at Elk Valley didn’t gain any letter grades in their TCAP scores, but they gained one point in math, bringing them to a 50. The state average for math is 51. Students scored a D in social studies and science, and a C in reading and language arts.

Principal Nancy Lay attributes lower scores to economics.

“When you’re trying to explain a subway system to a kid who’s never been out of  Campbell County, that’s kind of hard to get through,” she said. “It’s tough for some of the kids who just don’t have a lot of opportunities to explore.”

In the last year, a couple programs have been implemented to help math scores, and with this year’s data, faculty can set a goal for other areas.

“The biggest, weakest areas, we could probably do a better job,” she said.

Jacksboro Elementary School

Numeric scores increased at Jacksboro Elementary School, a gain that principal Joan Crutchfield cites extra attention given to students.

“We came together and worked as a team and the students bought into the fact I kept telling them they are the best,” she said.

Raising scores was a school-wide effort with even custodians and cooks stepping in to read with children and encourage them to do their best.

More than half, 52.6 percent, of the students tested as advanced and proficient on TCAP math scores, more than five points higher than the state average of 47.2. Reading and language TCAP proficiency jumped almost 10 points to 49.6 percent, almost at the state average of 49.9.

“We want to be a blue ribbon school. We’ve got the capability here. We truly do.”

Jacksboro Middle School

TCAP math averages are two points higher than the state average, but reading and language arts, social studies and science averages have slipped a few points.

Less than 40 percent of students tested scored advanced and proficient in math and language arts. In science, TCAP scores are seven points behind the state average.

Jellico Elementary School

Only 25.1 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in math, 42.1 points behind the state average. In English the proficiency and advanced rate is 32.20, still below the state average of 49.9.

There was no change in the TCAP results with a D in math and reading and language arts, a C in social studies, and an F in science.

Jellico High School

More than half the students tested scored proficient or advanced in Algebra I course exams, and that number is up almost 20 points from last year. In 2011, only 34.4 percent of tested students scored proficient or advanced. This year, that number was 53.9.

English II scores have risen slightly from 42.9 percent proficient or advanced to 45.3.

LaFollette Elementary School

Math, reading and language arts and science scores have all risen slightly to grades of C (math and reading) and D (science). While numeric grade gains were made in social studies, the jumps have not been enough to make higher than an F since 2010.

Advanced and proficiency rates slipped slightly in math and reading and language arts.

LaFollette Middle School

TCAP averages in reading and language arts, social studies and sciences have been an F every year since 2010. A gain of one number point bumped the math score from a D to a C.

In science, the school is 15 points behind the state average score of a 50.

Only 28 percent of students tested advanced or proficient in math, and only 33.8 received those ratings in reading and language arts.

Valley View Elementary

There was no change in TCAP scores, with all four categories holding steady grades of C since 2010. Writing scores for the school’s fifth graders averaged out to 4.3, just above the state’s 4.2 average. The school scored negatively on academic growth for this year.

White Oak Elementary

TCAP scores at White Oak made no changes this year with an F in reading and language arts, social studies and science since 2010. Students scored a D in math.

Only 42.9 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in math. 60.1 percent scored basic or below basic in math.

In reading and language arts, only 33 percent of students were advanced or proficient. The state average is 49.9 percent.

White Oak has the highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students at 91.7.

Wynn Habersham Elementary

Proficiency and advanced rates were up in both math (45.2 percent) and reading and language arts (38.2 percent), but there was no change in letter grades for the four different TCAP subjects. Students do have an average of 53 in math, one point higher than the state average. The average for science and social studies has been a D since 2010. Reading and language arts scores have been a C since 2010.