The 2011 Report Card on DeKalb County schools shows overall academic progress, according to Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, still two schools were placed on the "target" list and another made "School Improvement 2" for falling short of No Child Left Behind benchmarks in certain subgroups.
The Tennessee Department of Education Friday released complete results from the 2011 state Report Card. The report includes district- and school-level data on a variety of indicators, from student achievement and growth on standardized tests, to attendance and behavior.
Director Willoughby; Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for Grades 7-12; Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for pre-K through 6th grade; and Lisa Bell, Data Analysis Leader met recently with WJLE to explain the data.
According to the report card, DeKalb Middle School made the "Target" list because the sub-group of students who are economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities failed to meet the necessary benchmarks for the year in the subject of math.
DeKalb West is a "Target" school because the sub-group of students with disabilities failed to meet the benchmarks in reading and language arts.
Northside Elementary is listed as "School Improvement 2" due to the sub-group of students who are economically disadvantaged failed to meet the necessary benchmarks in reading and language arts.
DCHS is in "Good Standing", according to the Report Card. However ACT scores "took a dip" this year, according to Director Willoughby. The state now requires mandatory ACT testing of all juniors, not just college bound students..
County wide, the school system made "Good Standing" status in grades 3-8
Schools and districts must meet performance standards in 37 categories at each grade span to be deemed in "good standing" under the federally mandated No Child Left Behind law.
DeKalb County is not required to implement any new programs to address concerns at the "Target" schools based on the report card . However, after school tutoring programs were offered this past year at Northside Elementary and Smithville Elementary due to their "School Improvement 1" status in the 2010 report card, according to Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for pre-K to 6th grade. "This year we had to offer the supplemental education services, after school tutoring for those two schools. It came through Title I federal monies," she said.
Director of Schools Willoughby told WJLE that DeKalb County is by no means alone for schools on the state's radar. According to Willoughby, a total of 841 schools out of 1,662 across the state are either on a "Target" "School Improvement 1 or 2", or "Reconstruction" list. However, if the state's request is granted for a federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind Law, all of the schools in DeKalb County will be in "Good Standing" by meeting all the new guidelines for growth.
The Tennessee Department of Education is seeking to scrap the complicated means of measuring school progress under NCLB for a more straightforward plan that lays out how much progress schools must make each year.
Under the current Adequate Yearly Progress measure outlined in the federal law, schools are expected to show 20 percent gains per year. The expectation is pushing hundreds of schools across the state into the failing category.
In its request for a waiver from the controversial No Child Left Behind law, the state Department of Education says it's reasonable to expect gains of 3 to 5 percent per year in the number of students proficient in math and reading, but not 20%. Willoughby said he agrees with the state's position. "Should that waiver be approved then there would not be any schools in DeKalb County that are on the "Target" lists because the gains of growth are going to be more realistic like five or six percent per year rather than expecting us to have a twenty percent growth in a year. Twenty percent growth in a year is a pretty high goal to have. So having the goal as five or six percent is a more realistic goal," said Willoughby
With more workloads being placed on teachers in the classroom, Director Willoughby said he is proud of the job our local educators are doing, as well as the student progress that's been made.. "We're really proud of the Achievement scores that our students have made. Our students are achieving well and they are making gains. We're real proud of our students and we're proud of our teachers. There's more eyes on teachers statewide. Our teachers are working really hard and DeKalb County is a good place to go to school. When your children graduate from DeKalb County, they will graduate with a good education and they can be successful," said Willoughby.
The following is a summary of the DeKalb County School System Report Card for 2011 from the Tennessee Department of Education:
The graduation rate of 91.2%, maintained from 2010 is above the state
Attendance for K-8 was 95.8%, up from 93.9%
Promotion Rate for K-8 was 99.7%
Attendance at DCHS was 95.2%, up from 94.5%
In grades 3-8, the county received ALL "B"s for Academic Achievement in the areas of Math; Reading/Language Arts; Social Studies, and Science. The county exceeded state scores in the areas of Reading/Language Arts and Science. The county matched state scores in Math and Social Studies. For 5th, 8th, and 11th grade Writing, the county received ALL "A"s
Tennessee Value Added Assessment Scores (TVAAS), which measures academic growth over a three year period, shows that the county's Math score in grades 3-8 improved from a "D" to a "C" and Reading from a "C" to a "B". Social Studies maintained a "C" and Science fell from a "C" to a " D"
Achievement writing scores improved from 2010 going from 4.1 to 4.2. Scores. Reading and Language Arts Achievement exceeded the state by 2%. Math exceeded the state by 3%
End of Course (EOC) Math, English, and U.S. History all maintained one year's growth while above average growth was shown in Science/Biology.
DeKalb's ACT scores are down from 2010.
Since the implementation of the law regarding mandatory ACT testing of all juniors, DeKalb County has seen a decline in ACT scores. When compared to the state, DeKalb County's ACT scores (three year averages) are within one point except for Math.
Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for 7-12, told WJLE that efforts are underway to improve ACT results. "We're doing lots of review. We've got some academic coaches in and helping. Ms.
(Kathy) Hendrix (DCHS Principal) also has some incentive type things in place. We're doing everything we can to get that (ACT scores) up," said Cripps.
A comparison of Academic ACT Achievement scores for 2009, 2010 and 2011 are as follows:
Year 2009: 20.8
Year 2010: 18.5
Year 2009: 21.2
Year 2010: 17.8
Year 2011: 17.5
Year 2009: 19.1
Year 2010: 17.6
Year 2011: 17.3
Year 2009: 21.2
Year 2010: 19.3
Year 2011: 18.0
Year 2009: 21.0
Year 2010: 18.7
Year 2011: 18.1
DeKalb Middle School:
A "C" was maintained in Reading and Math Achievement while Social Studies improved from a "C" to a "B". Science received a "B, down from an "A" in 2010. DMS was at or above the state in every academic area except in Math.
Comparing 2010 to 2011, DMS improved in every core academic area and grade level in 2011. For example, 8th grade Science had a -10.8 for growth last year. This year it is 6.4. However, the three year average of Math gives DMS a "C". Reading and Language Arts received a "D", Social Studies dropped from a "D" in 2010 to an "F", and Science a "D". Math improved from a "D" in 2010 to a "C" for 2011
DeKalb West School:
An "A" was maintained in all academic areas and exceeded the state. Writing improved from a 4.4 in 2010 to 4.5 in 2011 for both 5th and 8th grades.
While the report card assigned a "D" in the area of math, every grade improved markedly in growth for 2011. An "A" was maintained in Reading and Social Studies fell from a "B" to a "C" while Science gained from a "C" to a "B"
Northside Elementary School:
A "C" was maintained in the area of Math and Reading/Language Arts as well as a "B" for Science and Social Studies. NES exceeded the state at 4.2 in Writing which is an "A" on the state Report Card.
Although Math received a "D" for the three year average, NES had significant growth in 2011. In 2010, 4th grade Math had a -5. In 2011, the growth had improved to 4.6. Fifth grade also gained from -4.0 to a 2.1. NES received an "A" in Reading and Social Studies growth and a "C" in Science
Smithville Elementary School has the same report card and standing as Northside Elementary since it is a feeder school to Northside.
DeKalb County Schools had an Average Daily Membership of approximately 2,844 students. There were 193 teachers and 10 administrators in the system. The pupil expenditure for this Report Card is $7,666. The state per pupil expenditure is $9,084.