Local News

Story published: 08-20-2014 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

County pleased with TCAP scores

By Meghan McCoy
Staff Writer

Washington County students scored well on their TCAP tests this past year, ranking them in high percentiles amongst other school systems.

Dr. Karla Kyte, director for elementary education, shared the 2014 TCAP scores for third-to-eighth-grade students during the August school board meeting. She said Washington County schools ranked fourth among school systems and first among the county systems in math.

“We were higher than two cities,” Kyte said.

The analysis includes 15 school systems: Greeneville, Johnson City, Kingsport, Hamblen County, Bristol, Elizabethton, Greene County, Carter County, Sullivan County, Johnson County, Hawkins County, Cocke County, Hancock County and Unicoi County.

In math, 58.6 percent of Washington County students scored proficient or advanced. Kyte said Washington County showed the highest improvements in math.

Students in Washington County scored 58.2 percent proficient and advanced for reading and 71 percent proficient or advanced in science. Kyte said students also scored 90 percent proficient or advanced in social studies. This year, Kyte said the TCAP test for social studies and science will be more comparable to Common Core standards.

Dr. William Flanary, director of secondary education, said the end of course tests for high school students in Washington County ranked seventh overall and second among county systems for algebra one. The ranking was due to 67 percent of students again scoring proficient or advanced.

Algebra two, on the other hand, saw a 20 percent increase in performance from the previous year, with 54 percent of Washington County students scoring proficient or advanced. “I couldn’t be prouder,” Flanary said.

The increase ranked Washington County as the sixth overall and second among county systems for the end of course testing.

Flanary said that increase was 18 percent higher than the average for the entire region and 8 percent higher than the system showing the next highest score. He said the students had a wonderful score in algebra two.

Another highlight occurred for the biology one end of course exam. Washington County ranked fifth overall among the 15 school systems for its score and first among county school systems. The ranking was due to 74 percent of Washington County students scoring proficient or advanced, which was a 5.7 percent increase from the previous year. Flanary said only three out of the 15 school systems had a greater increase.

English one saw a 3.7 percent drop from the previous year, although 71.4 percent of Washington County students scored proficient or advanced. The score ranked Washington County as seventh overall and second among county systems. Due to the score, administrators at Daniel Boone High School and David Crockett High School have identified ninth grade reading as their priority for this school year.

English two end of course exams ranked Washington County fifth overall and first among county systems with its 67 percent of proficient and advanced scoring.

English three, Flanary said, is a problem area. Only 49 percent of students scored proficient or advanced, which was not significantly different from the previous year. That score still ranked Washington County as first among county systems and fifth overall.

“We have been struggling to get that number up for years,” he said.

Flanary said the average system for Northeast Tennessee had only 42 percent proficient or advanced scores.

Students scored 99 percent proficient or advanced for U.S. History, which ranked Washington County fourth overall and second among county systems.

“We have nowhere to go,” Flanary said of the high score.

The U.S. History exam has been suspended for the current year and will resume in 2015-2016 because the curriculum and tests are being realigned by the Tennessee Department of Education.

Flanary also told the board that the graduation rate passed 90 percent the last week of July. He said the rate will be adjusted until the first of September to accommodate summer school students.

“This year we used super heroes as our theme,” Director of Schools Ronald Dykes said. “I think that describes our staff extremely well. This is an absolute team effort and all the credit goes to those in the trenches. I’m extremely proud of the educators and students in Washington County.”