2017 Education Report Card Release Highlights Opportunities for Improvement
The 2017 Education Report Card release was held on December 19. The report’s findings and the recommendations for next year were presented by co-chairs of the Education Report Card committee Greg Bailey and Meg Harris. School Board Chair Anna Shepherd, Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph and Mayor Megan Barry also spoke at the event regarding the developments at Metro schools in the last year.
This year, the committee focused on the opportunities for improving student outcomes through better and more efficient use of data. This means allocating time for teachers to engage with data, opportunities for collaboration between schools and non-profit community partners, adopting best practices and engaging families.
2017 Key Recommendations:
- Metro Schools should expand the number of data coaches for each quadrant to ensure they are accessible on a regular basis to every school.
- Metro schools should expand common planning time for teachers in grades Pre-K-8 to allow collaboration around student data to improve and differentiate instruction.
- Metro Schools should expand data-sharing agreements with the district’s non-profit community partners to better serve students who choose to opt-in.
- Metro Schools should implement a program to identify and highlight the best practices of zoned, magnet, and charter schools that are using student data to improve instruction and academic results.
- Metro Schools should implement a plan to help families access and understand their child’s data by setting goals for regular usage of the online parent portal.
In its analysis of student achievement data, the Education Report Card committee did not see overall improvement during the 2016-17 school year. Some of the issues that contributed to this lack of progress, including:
- MNPS is still well below the state average in TNReady scores. Nearly three-quarters of students in grades 3-8 show a lack of proficiency in English/Language Arts and Mathematics. However, this was the first year of TN Ready scores for these grade levels so progress can be measured in 2018 when two years of data are available.
- High school graduation rates dropped for the third year in a row to 80.3% from their ten-year high of 82.9% in 2010 and 81% in 2016.
The slight increase in the percentage of students proficient in high school math and English language Arts end-of-course tests was not statistically significant.
However, the Education Report Card committee identified several bright spots:
- MNPS fully implemented 4 of the 5 recommendations from the 2016 Education Report Card and with a fifth recommendation partially implemented. Most of these recommendations focused on literacy achievement in the Metro school system and their implementation has led, in part, to the development of the Blueprint for Early Childhood Success.
- Twice as many high schoolers received industry certifications as last year. The more than 400 students who earned an industry certification in 2017 is expected to increase in 2018, now that Metro schools has budgeted to cover the cost of the exams.
- The number of Metro high school students that qualified for the Tennessee Hope Scholarship increased this past year, aided by a change in reporting that counts the highest score of students who take the test multiple times.
You can download the full report here to read more about these recommendations and other concerns the Education Report Card committee highlighted in this year’s publication.