Rogersville eighth-graders excel in writing, algebra tests

Jeff Bobo • May 16, 2007 at 11:54 AM

ROGERSVILLE - It looks like Rogersville City School's graduating eighth-grade class will be leaving on a high note, scoring among the highest in school history in state writing and algebra testing.

The school has already received the results of last month's TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) eighth-grade and fifth-grade writing assessments, as well as the eighth-grade algebra scores.

On a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being a perfect score, the school's 67 eighth-grade students scored an average of 4.72 in writing, earning an A for the school system in that category.

Only the eighth- and fifth-grade classes are tested in writing in the TCAPs, and the fifth-grade scores were also very good.

The school's 74 fifth-graders scored an average of 4.43 in writing, earning another A for the school system.

Director of Schools Ravan Krickbaum said Wednesday the credit for that success belongs mainly to the teachers in every grade. Several years ago, writing was identified as a subject that would be specifically emphasized in the curriculum.

"These scores are indicative of the time spent on task," Krickbaum said. "Our teachers do teach sentence structure and grammar beginning in the early grades, and some of the success you see here is the result of that. We began a stronger emphasis on writing in every grade several years ago, and we've seen improvement every year.

"Having put an emphasis on writing early on, these eighth-graders are continuing to show the good results. I believe that this is the best that our eighth-grade students have ever scored."

A score of 6 is the highest possible score in the TCAP writing assessment and is classified as "outstanding."

In 2005 the RCS eighth grade had zero perfect scores. Last year there were seven perfect scores, and this year there were nine.

A score of 5 or better is classified as "strong." In 2005 the eighth grade had 29 students in the strong category, and that number fell to 21 last year. But in this year's test there were 31 scores of 5 or better.

On the flip side, in 2005 there was one student who scored less than a 1 in the "deficient" category, and last year there were two, but this year there were none. In fact, this year no eighth-graders scored less than a 2.

As for the algebra test, of the school's 67 eighth-graders, 27 took the algebra Gateway test. And of those 27 students, 25 scored advanced, while the other two scored proficient.

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