Sullivan schools exceed state targets in 7 of 11 areas

Rick Wagner • Jul 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County’s public school system has achieved the majority of Annual Measurable Objectives, or AMOs, set by the Tennessee Department of Education for the 2012-13 school year, the school system announced Thursday.

Of 11 achievement targets, Sullivan County Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning David Timbs said the system exceeded expectations in seven areas of the 11 and demonstrated overall growth in eight of the 11.

New state achievement requirements expect that districts will achieve growth in a majority of areas, so the system has exceeded that goal.

The AMOs include measures in reading language arts and math for grade 3, grade 7 and grades 3-8 collectively, Timbs said.

At the high school level, AMO targets include English II, English III, Algebra I, Algebra II and the overall graduation rate. Only the areas of third grade math, English II, and English III declined from 2011-12.

All other areas reflect gains.

“We’re very excited with what we see in high school math,” Timbs said in an interview. The most notable gains were in the areas of 3-8 math, seventh grade math, Algebra I, and Algebra II, Timbs said. The percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced grew by 6.6 percent in Algebra I and by 11.9 percent in Algebra II.

Timbs said teacher-effect data has been examined over the summer to move teachers in schools to the positions where they can be most effective.

“We will release school-level data later, but this is the first indicator of our continued improvement in student performance for Sullivan County schools,” Director of Schools Jubal Yennie said via email.

On Monday, Tennessee is to release data on each public school district for TCAP or Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests, end of course tests or EOCs, and graduation rates. Data will be released later on individual schools. The state allowed systems to release their data starting Wednesday, but Yennie said Sullivan will not release its full data until Monday and does not know data results from other systems.

He said the state allowed the early release from individual systems because “some folks wanted some way to do that.”

However, Yennie and Timbs said having statewide results Monday will allow for more context in looking at the district-level results, with the bottom line for Sullivan that AMOs show the system is headed in the right direction.

“We are certainly pleased to make sustained student performance for the second year in a row,” Yennie said.

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