Supervisor of Instruction K-12 Jeff Elliott highlighted the overall progress of Cleveland’s elementary schools.
“One of the most exciting things is E.L. Ross Elementary and Yates Primary have received all A’s for all subjects for the last three years in the [Tennessee Comprehensive Assessments Program] achievements. That is good,” Elliott said. “That means in math, science, social studies and reading and language their scores have all been A’s.”
He said the remaining elementary schools — Stuart, Blythe-Bower, Mayfield and Arnold — received an A in academic growth in reading for the 2012-13 school year.
“In addition, Arnold, Blythe-Bower and Mayfield received an A in academic growth in math,” Elliott said. “Stuart’s growth was a B in math last year. They are making a lot of improvement there in math.”
TVAAS is a measurement of student academic progress based on the results from tests like TCAP, the ACTs, EOC and the SAT 10. The annual report focuses on four areas: overall, literacy, numeracy, and literacy and numeracy. Each school system receives a level based on their scores with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest.
Cleveland City Schools received an overall 5.
Additional composite scores for the school system included: 5, literacy and numeracy; 5, numeracy; and a 3 in literacy.
Elliott explained a couple reasons for the difference in the high math scores and average literacy scores.
“Some of the resources for our teachers has been more on the front end for math components than literacy components. We have state websites with good resources; however, there are more resources for math right now than literacy,” Elliott said. “We have seen a clearer picture on what we are aiming for in math than we have in English Language Arts.”
Cleveland Middle School’s lowest score was in literacy with a 1. The other scores stand in stark contrast with 5’s in literacy and numeracy, overall and numeracy.
Cleveland High School’s overall one-year trend scores showed an increase in literacy over the middle school. All in all they included: 3, overall; 3, literacy; 2, numeracy; and 3, literacy and numeracy.
Instructional facilitators and principals of each school discussed ways to increase the literacy scores. The outcome of this year’s increased literacy focus will be made known with the release of TVAAS in August of 2014.
Another reason for the average literacy score is the growing subgroup of English Language Learners, or students whose first language is not English.
Elliott explained Cleveland City Schools did not meet its goal for the ELL’s reading and language arts scores. There are approximately 400 ELL students in the system.
“I think part of it is the complexity that goes along with the reading and language arts,” Elliott said. “Sometimes for English Language Learners, they are kind of behind the 8-ball so to speak. They are trying to put it all together.”
He explained the school system continues to monitor and work with all the subgroups with particular attention to the English Language Learners.
Another subgroup, students with disabilities, showed an improvement in their reading and math scores.
According to Elliott, Cleveland met all of its accountability goals for the 2012-13 school year. The state requires all school systems to issue their goals for each year. These achievement measures are predominately seen in two areas: reading for third grade, seventh grade, third through eighth grade, English II and English III; and math for third grade, seventh grade, third through eighth grade, Algebra and Algebra II.
Elliott pointed out the graduation rate for the 2012-13 school year was 85.8 percent. He said the school system aims to increase the number.
“A 100 percent is our goal each year. We want to do anything we can to help students,” Elliott said. “We have a wonderful graduation coach at Cleveland High, Rachel Moore. She is a hard worker.”
He explained between Moore, the high school counselors and the Teen Learning Center’s staff effective work is being conducted to close the 14.2 percentile gap.
Scores for the 2013-14 school year will be announced in August.