Thursday, September 21, 2017

While Tennessee Schools show impressive academic improvement, Nashville Schools continue to fail.

While the State of Tennessee showed impressive improvement in academics, the city of Nashville's improvement was dismal. Based on standardized test scores, school systems are rated on "value-added,"  that is a measurement of a students improvement.  The Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) measures student growth year over year, regardless of whether the student is proficient on the state assessment. In calculating a TVAAS score, a student’s performance is compared to the performance of other students who have performed similarly on past assessments. Students are rated on a score of 1 to 5 and a school score and district score is  composite of that. 

The Nashville school system scored a "1," the lowest possible score. Firty-five school districts, more than a third of Tennessee’s districts, earned overall TVAAS composites of Level 5, the highest level of growth. Shelby County school district and Hamilton County also scored a 1; Knox County scored a 5.  Neighboring Williamson and Rutherford County each scored a 5.

There are some schools within Davidson County that scored very well.  East Nashville Magnet School, Meigs Middle Magnet School, Hume-Fogg High Academic Magnet, Lead Academy, New Vision Academy, Liberty Collegiate Academy, and several others earned the highest score of 5.

In my view, it is almost child abuse to leave your child in a failing school.  Nashville is a great place to live if you are childless but not so great for families. If you have children you are much better off living in Williamson County or Rutherford County rather than Davidson.  If you are a parent in Davidson County, to ensure your child does not grow up dumb, you must move to a neighborhood that has a good school, fight to get your child in a magnet school or send your child to private schools.  Unfortunately, many parents do not have the means to relocate or send they child to a private school.  In choosing hospitals or grocery stores we have choice. We are not assigned to a hospital (at least not yet) or a grocery store.  Most often parents have very little choice in which public school to send their child and are required to send them to the school in their neighborhood  even if it is a dangerous and failing school. Rather than working to improve our public schools about half of our school board seems more concerned with combating school choice and defending the status quo.

To access state, school district, and school data follow this link.

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