Testing shows many gains, some concerns for Metro students - WKRN News 2

Testing shows many gains, some concerns for Metro students

Posted: Updated: July 25, 2013 04:56 PM CDT

"Gains" in some key subjects, "flat" in others widely describes results from yearly TCAP results that measure the progress of more than 81,000 Metro Nashville public school students.

Top district officials released the results from the spring testing Thursday during a press conference at the MNPS central offices.

"The trends we are seeing in our district data are generally similar to statewide results," Schools Director Dr. Jesse Register said at the news conference and in a statement released by MNPS.

The testing data provides a mountain of data on such things as subject matter, ethnic groups, grade levels and year-to-year progress.

Some of the areas highlighted by the district included math proficiency improving at the high school level by nearly 10-points for Algebra I and more than seven points for Algebra II.

Scores, though, for reading/language arts were called "an area of concern" by MNPS research and evaluation director Dr. Paul Changas.

He cited a slightly less than 1% drop in reading scores grades 3-8 and a slightly more than percentage point drop for English II scores.

Dr. Register said a new literacy plan is in the works for the entire system.

"Every teacher in our school district will be asked to focus on that and it will be a coordinated effort," said the schools director.

School officials also cited concern about narrowing the often discussed "achievement gap," which has long been associated with differences in socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity compared to other students.

Dr. Changas indicated the gap is "staying about the same" because all groups are making some gains and that it's an issue that is nationwide and not just in Nashville.

"What we are pointing out here is this is not just a local issue, this is something we are all trying to deal with, and there are some strategies we are reviewing in terms of their impact on the gap, but this is not easy work," said Changas.

School officials also touted Metro's graduation rate, which rose two percentage points to more than 78%.

Read the complete report at MNPSChildrenFirst.com.

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