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Kingsport report cards may not include TCAP scores

May 20th, 2014 11:45 pm by Rick Wagner

Kingsport report cards may not include TCAP scores

KINGSPORT — Despite Tennessee law and Kingsport school board policy, city elementary and middle school report cards for the second semester won't include this year's delayed TCAP scores, unless it would increase those final grades.

Addressing an issue that affects more than 130 public school systems across the state, city Superintendent Lyle Ailshie said at the end of Tuesday night's school board work session that the state will not provide Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program scores for tested subjects in grades 3-8 for an estimated 10 days.

The TCAP scores, which by Kingsport Board of Education policy are supposed to account for 20 percent of the second semester grade in reading/language arts, math, science and social studies, were supposed to be released already.

But Ailshie and Assistant Superintendent Dory Creech said the state — which requires TCAP scores to count 15 or 20 percent toward second semester grades in testing subjects — wants more time to review the scores.

"We questioned how they were going to be able to do this (turn the TCAP test results around quick enough)," BOE member Susan Lodal said of the TCAP schedules being so close to the end of the school year.

Creech and Michael Hubbard, who as director of performance excellence oversees testing for the system, said state Department of Education officials want to be sure the scores are statistically valid because of recent changes in standard performance indicators measured by the TCAPs.

The school board legally could not vote during the more than two-hour work session but came to a consensus, with no opposition, to follow a hasty afternoon consensus of principals to request a waiver from state Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman.

The other two options the state provided were waiting 10 days, or however long it takes to get the raw student scores, to release report cards or release two report cards, the first one without the TCAP scores and the later one with the scores.

Ailshie said the two report card option was not one he wanted to pursue.

Just after meeting's end, Ailshie reviewed and signed a letter to Huffman requesting the waiver. He said the hope is the request will be approved in less than 24 hours, and he and Creech said plans are to send parents calls and emails today explaining the situation.

Technically, the system is simply asking that the TCAPs not count toward those second semester grades in the four tested subject areas, but the BOE agreed with the principals' recommendation that only if TCAP scores would help a student's grade would it be counted.

"It's the only fair way to do it," BOE member Andy King said.

Creech said parents with questions should contact their student's principal or Hubbard at the Administrative Support Center.

Elementary report cards may go out today, she said, while middle school report cards likely will go out as normal early next week. Most are electronic, but some are still printed.

Creech said the concern is on multiple levels. Higher achieving students or those on the cusp of a higher letter grade might be helped by a good TCAP performance, as would struggling students.

For the later group, a good TCAP score might pull a failing grade up to passing and avoid a class in summer school that starts in early June, Creech said.

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