Curtis: Latest Cannon TVAAS scores show growth, progress

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WOODBURY & NASHVILLE -- Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today released the school-level 2018 TNReady results as well as 2018 school and district student growth data. The TNReady scores show that nearly 700 schools - more than 40 percent of schools in Tennessee - saw improvement across the majority of their grades and subjects in 2018, and 210 of those schools saw improvement across all grades and subjects. Additionally, 88 school districts met or exceeded student growth expectations, which is the majority of school districts in the state.

While TNReady results look at students' overall achievement and include whether a student scored as on track or mastered on their spring assessment, growth scores look at how much students are growing, regardless of whether they were proficient. Taken together, these results show a fuller picture of students' performance.

"While we know we still have room to improve, we also want to celebrate the hundreds of schools in Tennessee that showed progress this past year," Commissioner McQueen said. "Students and teachers are making encouraging strides on both TNReady and in their overall growth, and today's results point to bright spots across the state where students saw across-the-board success this past year on the state assessment. We want to learn from those places as we also continue to improve."

Today's release follows the release of state- and district-level TNReady results in July. As the department noted at the time, while most students took TNReady on paper, the department had a third-party expert conduct additional analysis to see if and/or how the online disruptions from this spring impacted the scores.

On 2018 TNReady, students showed the most improvement in English language arts for grades 3-5, and today's school-level results show that nearly 60 percent of schools improved their achievement scores in this area. Mirroring the mixed results that were seen at the state level, in most grades and subjects around 30-50 percent of schools saw improvement in their achievement scores, and the remaining schools either stayed flat or saw a decline in the percentage of students who were on track or mastered.

Tennessee has calculated student growth for nearly three decades, and these scores, called the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) scores, measure student growth year over year. In calculating a TVAAS score, a student's performance is compared relative to the performance of his or her peers who have performed similarly on past assessments.

The TVAAS scores for 2018 show that the majority of Tennessee's 147 districts met or exceeded growth expectations, and nearly 60 districts had an overall TVAAS composite of Level 5 - the highest level of growth.

Several schools also showed strong growth scores, with more than 1,000 schools earning a Level 3, 4, or 5 score - meaning students met or exceeded growth expectations. Additionally, while about 575 schools had an overall TVAAS composite of 5, 65 schools across 36 districts also earned a Level 5 TVAAS score across all subject areas.

In Cannon County, the results of the 2018 TNReady scores are as follows:

Cannon County Overall Composite: 1; Literacy Composite: 2; Numeracy Composite: 1; Literacy and Numeracy Composite: 1 ; Science Composite: 2 ; Social Studies Composite: 3.

Cannon County Director of Schools, William F. Curtis stated, "These latest TVAAS scores demonstrates growth and progress which measures a student's progress between two points in time, compares students' performance to their own prior performance in previous years, and is critical to ensuring a student's future academic success."

Curtis related, "The good news is that we are no longer at the bottom in the Upper Cumberland Region and our growth score increased from a 1 in Literacy to a 2 and Studies Scores increased from a 1 to a 3. Cannon County Schools' Third Graders had tremendous gains and moved to an Overall Composite Score of 5! This is a correlation of the hard work, collaboration, dedication, and motivation of students, teachers, and instructional leaders to make this possible!"

"Congratulations is extended to Woodland School that went from an Overall Composite Score of 1 in 2017 to an Overall Composite Score of 5 in 2018! Additionally, East Side School went from an Overall Composite Score of 3 in 2017 to an Overall Composite Score of 4 in 2018! Short Mountain School also went from an Overall Composite Score of 2 in 2017 to an Overall Composite Score of 3 in 2018."

Director Curtis further stated, "This demonstrates to our local communities that hard work and determination of our schools pays off in the long run! We have celebrations and continued challenges to meet our Mission - To Prepare ALL our Students for their Future, through our Vision - the New E3 = Engaged in Excellence Every Day to become one of the highest performing school systems in the State of Tennessee."

Supervisor of Instruction, Dr. Marcia Melton stated, "We are ecstatic with our growth in 3rd grade! Our school district is part of the Tennessee Department of Education Read to Be Ready Literacy initiative. Our PreK-3 grade teachers along with our former instructional coach, Kathy Mullins, have put in countless hours training and implementing the best literacy practices that are researched based. Our school district has been awarded the Read to Be Ready Summer Camp grant for the past three years to help stop the 'summer slide' that students often experience over the summer break.

"Our district also is part of the Upper Cumberland 90% Reading Goal. Dr. Regina Merriman, before her retirement, disaggregated district achievement data and conferenced with 3rd grade teachers and leaders to identify celebrations and challenges.

"Our other former instructional coach, Shannon Streett, spent countless hours examining the test data and coaching individual teachers on how to construct lessons that reflect the rigor of the new standards. We also have teacher leaders who can pinpoint areas of need and work to strengthen those needs. I definitely think our growth gains are the product of the excellence we have in our staff!"

For more information about TNReady, visit the department's website at, where you can also view the state and district-level results that were released earlier this summer.

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