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Kingsport semester, TCAP and end-of-course tests all proposed to count 15% of grade

Rick Wagner • Nov 29, 2018 at 11:45 AM

KINGSPORT — Pop quiz: How much will semester, TCAP and end-of-course tests count toward your final course grades?

If you’re a Kingsport City Schools student, the answer likely is about to become 15 percent across the board this school year and moving forward.

Kingsport school leaders are looking to revise two policies to standardize how much semester exams, TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) and end-of course exams count toward grades.

Assistant Superintendent of Administration Andy True presented the proposed streamlining of Policies 4.600 and 4.700 to the Board of Education at its Tuesday work session, saying that the semester exam in grades 9-12; the TCAP or TNReady tests in grades 3-8; and the end-of-course tests in high school each would count 15 percent.

Board member Susan Lodal said that although the state of Tennessee allows varying percentages depending on the grade level and type of test, she is comfortable with the 15 percent, adding that she still is not confident the state has seen the last of its problems with late TCAP and end-of-course scores and other issues that have plagued the standardized testing. By law, EOC and TCAP grades do not have to count unless they are reported by a pre-set deadline.

KCS current policies for 2018-19 set semester tests at 25 percent of a grade. TCAPs were 10 percent in 2016-17 and became 15 percent after that, while EOCs were 10 percent in 2016-17, 15 percent for 2017-18 and will be 25 percent for 2018-19. If approved, the new policies would take effect immediately for the current school year, True said.

Under Tennessee regulations, True said, TCAPs for grades 3-5 must range from zero to 25 percent of final grades and from 10 to 25 percent for grades 6-9. True said EOCs for grades 9-12 must range from 15 percent to 25 percent, while he said he knew of no specific percentage requirements from the state for semester tests.

WHAT ELSE WAS DISCUSSED? 

In addition, the Kingsport school board at its regular meeting Dec. 11 also plans to pass one new policy, Policy 2.300, on “compatibility of services” required to meet federal law requirements. True said it lays out the system’s salary scale, provision of supplies and assignment of duties to employees in a way that meets federal law, something he said the system already has done but must put in a policy, according to the Tennessee School Boards Association that says the change is required.

However, board members expressed no interest in approving a proposed new policy suggested by the TSBA on copyright law, also based on federal law, because they said it could create more work and headaches for teachers and administrators.

HOW ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND ELEARNING?

The board also got a technology and eLearning report from Director of Technology Scott Pierce and eLearning Coordinator Laurie Norris. 

Norris said instructional technology includes a professional learning library for teachers and a presentation learning library for students and parents, while Pierce said technology work has included launching 323 new teacher laptops and answering more than 10,000 work order requests, as well as transferring email to a new Google service, other Google training, software and data support, improving Internet access, TNReady network readiness testing and installing a new phone system.  

Responding to questions from board member Eric Hyche, Norris said the 1-to-1 device program in grades 4-12 has gone completely to Chromebooks and that the transfer has proven to work well. Norris also said he’d look into concerns by board member Todd Golden about students getting to inappropriate websites through school-issued Chromebooks by going around filtering. However, Norris said it was difficult to block or filter all questionable websites, especially access to videos.

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