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NCLB data highlights progress and challenges
(July 22, 2009)
The State of Tennessee released Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program results today based on No Child Left Behind benchmarks, and the Knox County schools data show progress in some areas and challenges in others.

“The vast majority of our students in the Knox County Schools are doing well, and are graduating from high school prepared for college, for career, and for life. However, we want to make sure that every single student achieves their full academic potential.  We will continue to work diligently toward this goal of Excellence for All Children.” 
-Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent


Additional Information may be found on the Tennessee Department of Education Website.
NCLB Definitions
Sixty- seven of the 86 schools in the Knox County School System either made the NCLB benchmarks outright or showed adequate yearly progress for 2009. 

Forty-one of Knox County’s 49 elementary schools and seven of the system’s 14 middle schools are in good standing based on the NCLB benchmarks.  Only four of the county’s 13 high schools are in good standing. 
(Download full list of targeted and high priority schools)

A high priority school is one that has not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward the NCLB benchmarks for two consecutive years.  Targeted schools are those that do not make AYP in a single year. 

“This is extremely  valuable data that we are carefully analyzing, and we will use it to help inform our instructional decisions for the next academic year and beyond,” said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of the Knox County Schools.  “As was the case last year, results from this year’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) analysis were somewhat mixed,  demonstrating our progress, but also illustrating our challenges.  We are concerned about the academic performance of our African-American and economically disadvantaged student populations, as well as the results for our students with disabilities. In addition, several of our high schools have been identified as high priority, largely due to outcomes in four-year graduation rate, but we are also seeing some very positive movement at the high school level.”

Following its reconstitution, Fulton High School made AYP in all academic areas and showed improvement in graduation rate.   Karns and West High Schools, both of which made AYP in all areas including graduation rate, will come out of high priority status if this progress continues next year.

“These results confirm what we already know about student achievement in the Knox County Schools,” said McIntyre.  “We are generally seeing very solid student educational outcomes, but in specific areas we still have a lot of work to do.  Improving student achievement is our highest priority, but there is no short-term fix.  Academic excellence for all students will require hard work, sustained focus, and persistent effort over a period of many years.

“While we will see more rigorous academic standards in the state of Tennessee starting this fall, I expect to see educational improvement at all levels in the coming years as we implement a strategic plan to achieve our vision of Excellence for All Children. 

The five year strategic plan recently adopted by the Knox County Schools establishes four goals with supporting objectives designed to provide all students outstanding classroom instruction and give every student the opportunity to achieve at high levels.  “We have to focus on our students, invest in our people, engage our parents and community and ensure that we are targeting our resources to instructional strategies that are achieving results,” McIntyre explained.  “Our plan is designed to do this, and I think we will build on our success, and see greater improvement in learning as we work through the implementation of our plan.”

Northwest Middle School has improved to the level that it is no longer on the state’s high priority list and is in good standing.  Since this school has improved so greatly, school choice transfers will no longer be offered.  Students who transferred in previous years may remain at their new school through the school’s terminal grade, but the school system will not offer transportation.

“The vast majority of our students in the Knox County Schools are doing well, and are graduating from high school prepared for college, for career, and for life,” McIntyre said.  “However, we want to make sure that every single student achieves their full academic potential.  We will continue to work diligently toward this goal of Excellence for All Children.”     


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