By Heather Mullinix
Frank P. Brown Elementary School has been named the top performing middle school in Tennessee by the Education Consumers Foundation (ECF).
"They look at the achievement data and the growth data and they rank those schools," explained Director of Schools Aarona VanWinkle as she invited the faculty and staff of the school to come forward during the February meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Education.
The ECF ranked 530 middle and kindergarten through eighth grade schools using data on student academic gains in reading and language arts and math using a two-year average.
Rebecca Wood, curriculum facilitator, explained, "Last year they were ranked no. 2 and the year before that they were ranked no. 65. They are definitely showing some progress on the gains. It's just incredible work. They have a focus on every child and making sure that what they do is to help every child grow."
The data used in the ranking takes a student's knowledge the year before and measures how much knowledge they have gained in the school year.
Principal Christie Thompson said, "This would not be possible if not for the teachers, faculty and staff right here. They did this. We adopted a no zero policy to hold students accountable for doing their work. We make sure they do it. This goes to the teachers and all their hard work."
The Education Consumers Foundation is dedicated to serving the interests of education's consumers and uses research to evaluate education policy and practice. The organization uses data from the state testing program to identify and reward effective school leaders, help consumers determine how effective their local schools are, uncover information on the relationship between poverty and effectiveness and identify practices common to effective schools.
Other Cumberland County schools achieving an "exceptional" ranking in the 2012 report are Crab Orchard Elementary, South Cumberland Elementary, Martin Elementary and North Cumberland Elementary.