Kingsport Times News Monday, September 1, 2014

Local News

TCAP snafu has Sullivan County teachers manually figuring grades

May 21st, 2012 9:24 pm by Rick Wagner

BLOUNTVILLE — All Sullivan County public school elementary grade cards will go out as planned Thursday, but only after a last-minute teacher blitz of manually figuring the TCAP scores into grades for students in third, fourth and fifth grades.


And it affected students 3-8 in K-8 schools.


Because of the way the Tennessee Department of Education pulled student course codes, Sullivan County Assistant Director of Schools David Timbs said teachers will have to go through manually and figure Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program scores as 15 percent of second semester reading, math, social studies and science grades.


Timbs said the situation involves 5,000 students, each of which had four course grades for a total of 20,000 individual grades to figure.


The goof was that the state pulled student course codes for those four subjects plus the “self-contained homeroom.” That is not a subject in which students are tested, but because it was pulled, scores from one of the other four subjects randomly showed up there.


“Every time it was a grade in the self-contained course code,” Timbs said. “It would leave out one course.”


Because the scores did not consistently go from one subject to homeroom, Timbs said teachers must figure the grades manually, including some arithmetic.


“Now instead of automatically compiling, they’re now going to hand calculate grades,” Timbs said. “It was one of those unforeseen issues with the requirement of using the scores as part of the students’ grades.”


Timbs said the situation is the same one that caused Hawkins County schools not to release report cards Monday as scheduled. Instead, those report cards will be mailed to students.


Kingsport schools’ last day is Wednesday, which also is the day virtual report cards will go out at the elementary level, said Dory Creech, assistant superintendent of Kingsport City Schools.


“Ours came back fine,” Creech said.


She said the system programmed its student data management system to plug in the TCAP scores as 20 percent of the final grade. The Kingsport Board of Education chose 20 percent, while the county chose 15 percent. That was the range the state allowed.


Creech said she wasn’t sure how the new Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee — a joint city-county operation — would handle report cards and the percentage of second semester grades determined by TCAP scores.


Kingsport’s elementary report cards will be e-mailed Wednesday, with the middle and high school ones coming a bit later, Creech said.


“I’m just pleased we got all our scores back and they will flow as planned,” Creech said.


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