Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

August 4, 2012

County students show gains in annual testing

CROSSVILLE — Cumberland County students exhibited a growth in knowledge from one year to the next in the most recent Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program and end-of-course tests, with the school district receiving a top score of 5.

"You can tell from this our teachers, our staff, our students, our parents are working hard and they're really looking at that curriculum and making progress," said Director of Schools Aarona VanWinkle. "I'm really very pleased with the progress we are making in most areas."

Composite scores measure the growth of students from one TCAP test to the next and are used as 35 percent of a teacher's evaluation. Composite scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Meeting expectations for growth is a score of 3, while 5 shows exceeding those expectations.

Overall one-year composite scores for all elementary scores were 5, except Pine View Elementary, which had an overall score of 3. Pleasant Hill Elementary showed gains exceeding expectations across the board, though its three-year composite was a 3. VanWinkle said that would change next year as the 2010 scores were replaced with more recent scores.

"At our high schools, we do have some areas of need that we've address and our administrators are looking at those and coming up with ways to improve those scores," VanWinkle said.

Cumberland County High School scored one in numeracy and literacy composite, for a one-year composite of one. Stone Memorial High School scored three in numeracy and literacy composite and had an overall composite of 5 for one year. Phoenix School met its growth expectations with a 3 for the one-year overall composite.

The student achievement data is compiled from TCAP tests administered in the spring of the school year to elementary students and end-of-course tests in selected subjects at the high school. In June, the state announced statewide student performance on the 2012 TCAP improved for the second year in a row with students reaching higher levels of proficiency in 23 of 24 TCAP achievement tests in grades three through eight.

Last week, the state Department of Education announced nearly all of the state's 136 districts saw proficiency levels increase, and two-thirds of the school systems improved in every subject of the 308 grade TCAP achievement test.

Much of the data from those tests are still embargoed by the state but will be released soon, VanWinkle said. When data analysis is complete, the district will be able to pinpoint subjects where students are struggling and use that data to develop plans to help students improve learning and achievement.

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