In state assessment, Sevier County schools get good-to-average marks

Nov. 14, 2013 @ 11:37 PM

Sevier County schools got some good marks and some average grades on the latest state report card.

The state issued its reformatted report cards for local school systems late Wednesday afternoon. The data can be viewed online at tn.gov/education/reportcard/2013.shtml; links on the upper right side of the web site provide instructions on how to break down the information by district or by individual schools

The school system had the type of grades most parents would be proud of on its academic achievement figures for grades 3 to 8, with B's in reading/language arts, math and science, and an A in social sciences. Its scores on value added for grades 4 through 8 were a little lower, with an A in math and B in social duties but C's in reading and science.

The academic achievement score measures the performance of students in the school system at a specific time, making it more similar to a typical test grade. Value-added scores measure the impact that districts, schools and teachers have on students by trying to compare how much knowledge students gain in each subject very year.

“We are pleased with the growth and development achieved by our students during the 2012-13 academics school year,” said Jack Parton, superintendent of schools. “Changing curriculum standards and ever increasing expectations for proficiency presented many challenges. However, our students, teachers, support staff and principals demonstrated they are up to the task."

Debra Cline, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said school officials are evaluating data provided in the newest report card.

“Test score improvement plans are in place at each school to prescribe program changes and to develop individual academic plans where appropriate,” she said.

She said she was pleased to see improved performance in math in the elementary schools and in end-of-course assessments at the secondary level, where students scored above the state average in algebra and biology.

New textbooks should help them improve the scores in reading, she added. “We are implementing new reading materials at the elementary level during the 2013-14 academic year that are more closely aligned to the curriculum, and I feel that this change will positively impact instruction,” she said.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com