State test results show Kingsport schools made significant gains in math, science

Rick Wagner • Jul 28, 2013 at 7:53 PM

KINGSPORT — Students in Kingsport City Schools showed significant achievement gains in math and science, school officials said Friday.

The head of the school system said the gains are reflected in 2013 TCAP or Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program and end of course or EOC test scores released by the State of Tennessee Department of Education.

“We are pleased to see the hard work and dedication of KCS students and teachers is reflected in the positive results we are receiving from the state,” Superintendent Lyle Ailshie said in a news release Friday. “KCS teachers, and all other educators, have not only embraced a common vision regarding what it takes to become a world class school system, they are also committed to helping students see the need to challenge themselves. Our most valuable resource is our educators and I couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments.”

KCS students improved in all tested math subgroup categories, including Algebra I, Algebra II and third- through eighth-grade math. The largest gains occurred in Algebra I (14.1 percentage points), Math 8 (7.5 percentage points), and Algebra II (6.8 percentage points).

Across all grade levels, Kingsport math students averaged more than 12 percentage points above the state average, with Algebra II topping Tennessee students by more than 32 percentage points.

A picture of Kingsport’s performance in relation to other systems will emerge Monday, when selected districtwide data from more than 130 public systems statewide will be released.

In science, KCS students in third through eighth grades improved in all grade levels except fifth, which still ranked 9.3 percentage points higher than the state average. Biology I was specifically noted for strong growth, rising 13 percentage points over 2012 scores, placing Kingsport 13.7 percentage points above the state average.

“While this is just one measure of what is happening each day in our classrooms, it is an indicator that we are on the right track in providing a world-class educational experience for every child in Kingsport,” Ailshie said. “These scores provide valuable information on where our strengths lie as a school system, as well as where we need to focus our improvement efforts.”

Reading/language arts or RLA was identified as a point of emphasis. Although scores improved in RLA in grades 3-8, English I, III and grades 3, 5, 7 and 8, slight decreases were noted in grades 4 (-1.3), 6 (-1.5) and English II (-2).

KCS also improved from 2012 in reaching its gap closure targets. Seven gap closure targets were met in 2013. All black, Hispanic and native American subgroups showed improved proficiency percentages from 2012 to 2013, with “significant” gains in math.

These students increased by 29 percentage points in Algebra I, 7.4 percentage points in Algebra II, and 11.1 percentage points in Math 3-8.

They significantly outpaced students statewide, ranking above the state average in Algebra I (plus 29.4 percentage points), Algebra II (plus 28.5 percentage points), and Math 3-8 (plus 22.5 percentage points).

Monday’s release will not include individual school data, which will be released later.

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