Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

November 6, 2012

Schools focusing on reading, language arts following AMO report

CROSSVILLE — While many Cumberland County schools show strong performance in math skills, reading for information is impacting test scores across the county.

Rebecca Wood, instructional facilitator, said, "We're working on bringing in a lady who is experienced in research-based strategies to improve reading and language arts. We brought a lady in for math and she worked with teachers on how to strengthen our instruction in that subject. We're excited to have this lady come and work with our staff and our teachers."

Wood reviewed the latest information released by the Tennessee Department of Information on Cumberland County academic performance, with this report focusing on individual schools.

Each school had benchmarks set for proficiency in reading and language arts and in math for grades 3-8 as a whole and in the 3rd and 7th grades individually, as well as English and Algebra I at the high school level. These benchmarks are called annual measurable objectives, AMO.

Brown, Homestead, Cumberland County High School and Stone Memorial High school all met their AMOs for the 2011-'12 school year. Other schools showed a need for improvement in different areas, while North Cumberland Elementary failed to meet any of its AMOs and Pleasant Hill Elementary missed the mark in reading and math at all levels except 7th grade reading.

"North and Pleasant Hill are very aware of what we see here," Wood told the Cumberland County Board of Education. "The strategies that I've been impressed with is sharing the data with the students. Both are incorporating this data in conversations with students. It's serious, but it's a pep talk. 'I want to help you grow. You did great, but we're going to focus on this and I'm going to help you.'"

Other strategies to help individual schools improve include recruiting students to participate in before- and after-school tutoring sessions; giving greater detail about specific areas of need, such as interpreting informational text, writing, and research; using STAR Enterprise for formative assessments; and providing more professional development for language arts teachers in grades 7-12.

That need for better skills in informational reading can be seen in value-added scores in science and social studies, which showed students did not grow as much academically as the state predicted. The value-added scores include a three-year score average as well as scores for the 2011-'12 year.

"Informational reading skills will help our science and social studies instruction because so much of that information is presented in informational text," Wood explained.

And while proficiency scores in Algebra I were very high, Wood noted value-added scores did not show as much academic growth as was expected.

"We did really well in proficiency, but this is about how much that child grew in knowledge during the year," she said.

The school system and individual schools also have goals to close achievement gaps between subgroups, including students with disabilities and Hispanic students. In that area, special education teachers are being provided data about where their students are academically to help them grow in knowledge and proficiency.

"I think that's opened a lot of eyes and put a focus on where our students are," Wood said.

There are also progress monitoring tools used throughout the year that measure proficiency of specific skills, such as vocabulary or reading comprehension.

A parent did question how the online testing programs can provide checks and balances, as this parent had requested an actual printout of the questions asked and answers provided to better help her child's academic performance, but was told that was not available because the program randomly generated questions based on performance and could only provide information on skill areas that needed improvement. Reports of those assessments can be provided to parents through a printout, or parents can access results online.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • rendezvous.jpg TSRA starts spring off with paddling trips

    About 150 members of the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association (TSRA) recently gathered April 2-6 in Crossville at Camp Nakanawa for the Annual TWRA Rendezvous.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Panel recommends using third-party billing for old EMS bills

    The budget committee approved hiring the same third party billing company to help go through older EMS ambulance service bills to resubmit them to help the EMS department get caught up with billing collections.

    April 19, 2014

  • Sales tax collections down

    Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock reported to the Cumberland County Budget Committee that local option sales tax collections have fallen below budgeted projections for the 2013-'14 fiscal year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Motion to toss evidence in burglary denied

    A defense motion to have evidence seized by deputies searching for a man who fled warrant service thrown out failed when deputies testified they had oral permission from the defendant's son to search the residence the father and son share.

    April 18, 2014

  • donate life.jpg Organ donation gives man new lease on life

    Travis Hodges has a new lease on life, thanks to a selfless gift a young father made the year before.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fireworks, sign change get council OK

    While the April Crossville City Council meeting was generally a calm one, there were some fireworks on the agenda.

    April 18, 2014

  • quackers at the library.jpg Spring jamboree

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspect charged in Sportsman Club break-in

    A Crossville man has been arrested and charged in connection with the burglary of a shooting club's building in the county that occurred last week, according to arrest reports.

    April 17, 2014

  • Panel discusses auditing hotel/motel tax collections

    Commissioners on the budget committee discussed the possibility of auditing hotels and motels in the county regarding the collection of hotel/motel tax collection figures being down.

    April 17, 2014

  • Repent burglar must serve time

    Some defendants cry, because they get caught, and others are tearful with remorse. No one in the courtroom doubted Robert Killeen's sincerity when he apologized to his victim, his loved ones and supporters for committing crimes against an elderly widow, stealing the money her late husband left her.

    April 17, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice