Tennessee report card rates student achievement in local schools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tennessee report card rates student achievement in local schools

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - It's been an unusual year for student achievement in Tennessee including Memphis City Schools.  

"The curriculum changed," said John Barker, the Executive Director for Memphis City Schools' Office of Research & Evaluation. "The tests got harder, and the cut scores got a lot higher, in some cases doubling."

Last year, the Tennessee Board of Education raised the standards for what it expects out of its students for the first time since 1998.  They expected this year's report card to reflect a decrease in achievement statewide.

The added expectations showed in Memphis City Schools grades 3 through 8, where students scored an average of a D in Math, and F's in Reading, Social Studies and Science.

In Memphis, 34 percent of students in grades K through 8 were proficient in Math, while 51 percent in grades K through 8 were proficient in Reading and Language Plus Writing.

Of Memphis high schools, 49 percent of students were proficient in Math while 70 percent were proficient in Reading and Language Plus writing.

And there were disciplinary problems - more than 22,000 MCS students, or 20.5 percent enrolled, were suspended last year. Almost 4,000 students, or 3.6 percent, were expelled.

But there are positive signs of improvement.

"Our students are out-scoring where they're predicted to score," Barker said.

And the attendance rate in grades K through 8 was 94.3 percent, while the attendance rate in city high schools was 90.3 percent.

The graduation rate was the highest in years at 70.8 percent, and last year's drop out rate was a record 1 percent.

Five Memphis City Schools - White Station Middle, John P. Freeman, Richland, Cordova Elementary, and Campus - received straight A's in academic achievement.

59 Memphis schools remain on the No Child Left Behind High Priorities list, but the district as a whole is not on the list, though it remains in Target status.      

You can read the entire Tennessee Education Report Card by clicking here.

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