Cannon Schools Work To Overcome Deficits
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Cannon County Schools have to meet two different accountability measures for student achievement.  Those accountability measures stem from Race to the Top (RTTT) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Under Race to the Top, the school system is measured in student achievement for 3rd grade Reading/Language Arts (R/LA), 7th grade Math, and Graduation Rate.  The State of Tennessee set target goals for each of these areas for the 2014-15 year.  They are 50.7% proficient/advanced in 3rd grade R/LA, 48.9% proficient/advanced in 7th grade Math, and 83.6 % graduation rate.  

The system then set intermittent benchmarks for the years between 2010 and 2014.  Cannon County set a 2010-11 benchmark of 34.7% proficient/advanced for 3rd grade R/LA, 30.5% proficient/advanced for 7th grade Math, and 74.9% graduation rate.  

For the 2010-11 school year, Cannon County scored 30.9% proficient/advanced in 3rd grade R/LA, 26% proficient/advanced in Math, and reached a graduation rate of 87%.  Cannon County did not reach the benchmarks for Reading/LA and Math; however, we did improve slightly from the baseline scores established in the 2009-2010 school year.  We did exceptionally well in achieving the graduation rate.

Under the RTTT system, Cannon County Schools did not make any of the recognition groups which are 1) Reward – 5% of “highest preforming” schools, 2) Focus – 10% of schools with the largest achievement gaps; low graduation rates, and 3) Priority – Bottom 5% of schools in proficiency/graduation rates.

The second achievement system is one with which we are all familiar –NCLB.  Unlike RTTT, NCLB rates schools using all 4 core subjects—R/LA, Math, Science and Social Studies.    In academic achievement for grades 3-8, Cannon County received the following:  Math (D), Reading/LA (C), Social Studies(C), and Science (C).  A grade of C means that the system achieved what was expected by the State.  A grade of D or F would be below state expectations, and a grade of A or B would be above state expectations.  

Also included in NCLB are accountability measures for attendance, graduation rate, ACT, writing, and TVAAS, better known as achievement “growth”.  Cannon County has traditionally held a great attendance rate.  The 2010-11 attendance rates were grades 3-8 (95.3) and grades 9-12 (94.4).

  Writing is another area where Cannon County has been successful for many years.  8th grade and 11th grade maintained an A in writing; whereas, 5th grade received a B. For the ACT, Cannon County’s academic achievement was English (17.4), Math (17.7), Reading (18.3), Science/Reasoning (18.0), and a composite average of (18.0).  

 The final test for academic preparedness is TVAAS or growth.  This measures whether a student has achieved a year’s worth of knowledge.  A mean gain of zero would indicate that a student had “grown” exactly one year in knowledge.  That would result in a C on the report card for TVAAS.  

Cannon County received the following TVAAS scores:  Math (C), mean gain of 0.4 up from -0.4 in 2010; Reading/LA (C), mean gain of -0.4 up from -1.1 in 2010; Social Studies (B), mean gain of 0.7 up from 0.4 in 2010; and Science (D), mean gain of -1 up from -1.5 in 2010.

From all the NCLB data categories, the State Dept. chooses Reading/LA, Math and either attendance rate or graduation rate for deciding adequate yearly progress (AYP).   Based on these indicators, Cannon Co. has the following schools listed as “Target” schools under NCLB accountability: Cannon County High School (Math), West Side Elementary (Math), Woodbury Grammar (Math and Reading/LA), and Woodland (Math).  The system is also on the “Target” list for elementary math and high school math.  Being on target means that we have one year to improve in the AYP categories listed before going into school improvement with the State Dept. of Education.

The Cannon County School System has put the following measures into place to overcome our deficits:

• TLJ Consultants work with middle grades math teachers to improve instruction.

• High Schools that Work consultants work with high school math teachers and middle grades math teachers to improve instruction.

• Teachers spent the summer months writing pacing guides and formative assessments to monitor student progress and the teaching of State standards.

• Formative assessments are given every 3 weeks using CORE K12 to check student progress.

• Professional development has been provided for principals on the master schedule to maximize instruction time and provide time for intervention and enrichment.

• Children’s Progress benchmark tests are given 3 times a year to K-2 students.

• The system will purchase Coach Connected, an online TCAP prep program.

• Colleen Goss, State Consultant, will provide professional development on data walls to chart student progress.

• More inclusion is being used through the Special Ed. and Title I departments.

• The Title programs have been expanded to include math as well as reading.

• The new teacher evaluation model has provided an avenue of deeper discussions with teachers on instruction techniques.

• Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) have been organized in some of the schools to provide a time for teachers to meet to discuss student progress and behavior.

• New math textbooks were purchased for this school year.

• Monthly Parent Academy meetings were organized to provide parents information and suggestions for helping their children be successful in school.

• Individual schools have made changes in faculty or departmentalization to improve instruction.

For more information, please contact Barbara Parker, Director of Schools, at 615-563-5752.
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