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Tennessee’s 2022 checklist of lowest-performing precedence faculties is out


Memphis-Shelby County Colleges greater than doubled its variety of faculties on Tennessee’s checklist of bottom-performing faculties, whereas faculties from a number of rural districts made the checklist for the primary time.

The state training division on Monday flagged 101 faculties in 12 districts as so-called precedence faculties, that means they had been deemed academically within the backside 5% within the 2021-22 faculty 12 months.

The precedence checklist is the state’s highest-stakes designation for holding low-performing faculties accountable. However this 12 months’s roster shall be used solely to establish faculties eligible for extra federal funding and state assist — not for takeover by Tennessee’s Achievement Faculty District. 

Final month, after telling district leaders that Tennessee gained’t grade its faculties A-F this fall as deliberate, training division officers stated the state additionally will pause from shifting any faculties into the ASD, which has logged largely disappointing outcomes at enhancing the colleges it took over starting in 2012.

The accountability reprieve comes amid challenges in gathering dependable pupil achievement and development knowledge throughout the pandemic, starting in 2020 when state assessments had been canceled nationwide. 

In an Aug. 24 letter to superintendents, Schooling Commissioner Penny Schwinn stated check participation in 2021 was inconsistent throughout Tennessee, making it tough to check outcomes 12 months to 12 months. And in the latest faculty 12 months, faculty leaders grappled with power pupil absenteeism, COVID-related quarantines, and challenges with on-line studying. 

However the accountability pause is coming to a detailed, Schwinn has promised. The state is scheduled to subject a brand new precedence faculty checklist within the fall of 2023, probably making 2024 the earliest that new faculties might enter the ASD.

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Tennessee’s faculty accountability system depends on achievement and development outcomes from state assessments underneath the Tennessee Complete Evaluation Program, or TCAP. “Precedence” standing denotes a faculty that’s constantly low-performing over a number of years, or a highschool that has lower than a 67% commencement fee throughout the latest faculty 12 months.

For 2022, Memphis-Shelby County Colleges, the state’s largest district, had 36 precedence faculties, together with seven constitution faculties, up from a whole of 16 in 2021.

Nashville’s faculty district went from 16 to 19 precedence faculties; Hamilton County from seven to eight; and Knox County had 4 faculties. Districts in Cumberland, Fayette, Haywood, Henry, and Sevier counties had one precedence faculty every, whereas Madison County had three and Maury County had two. 

Tennessee’s faculty turnaround district, the ASD, had 24 faculties on the checklist.

In the meantime, 19 faculties got here off the state’s checklist of precedence faculties, in keeping with the division’s newest reviews.

The rosters had been amongst a number of reviews launched Monday by the state exhibiting faculty and district designations for final faculty 12 months, a few of that are federally required. These included high-performing “reward” faculties, district scores based mostly on six efficiency indicators, and an inventory of colleges needing focused assist to shut disparities in pupil achievement based mostly on race, poverty, disabilities, and language. 

Districts in Memphis and Nashville had been designated as “advancing” faculty districts — the second-highest achievement — though the state’s two largest districts additionally had double-digit numbers of precedence faculties.

“The district shall be working with these faculties to make sure that evidence-based turnaround and success methods are being carried out to assist their college students and college,” stated an announcement from Nashville faculty leaders.

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In Memphis, district officers stated they may goal their precedence faculties by incentivizing attendance, offering additional teaching for varsity leaders, reviewing knowledge repeatedly to offer focused assist, and serving to households perceive and monitor their youngster’s efficiency. 

“I feel it’s going to take a while as we get better from the pandemic and transition the colleges which are getting back from the ASD,” stated Michelle McKissack, who chairs the college board there. “We have now to soak up all that — the great, the unhealthy — and transfer ahead.”

Marta Aldrich is a senior correspondent and covers the statehouse for Chalkbeat Tennessee. Contact her at Chalkbeat reporter Samantha West contributed to this report.



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