Sullivan schools make improvements, still have some weak spots

Rick Wagner • Aug 30, 2019 at 7:30 PM

BLOUNTVILLE —  Sullivan County Schools made mostly improvements in the recently released 2019 Tennessee Report Card on education, although two schools need some improvement in subgroup performance, overall numeracy scores are low and proficiency in Algebra I declined.

However, seven schools were named Reward Schools, two for the second time.


Brent Palmer, high school system curriculum and instruction supervisor, gave the Board of Education a rundown of the achievement and value-added results from the state-collected data during a work session Thursday afternoon. Overall, Palmer said the school system was ranked Advancing, fourth in a five levels of evaluation, just short of exemplary. That meant the system overall ranked 4 on the 1-5 Tennessee Value-Added System matrix.

The system had no priority schools or those warranting additional Tennessee resource for targeted support and improvement, and two needing school district targeted support and improvement: Blountville Middle for economically disadvantaged and Colonial Heights Middle for students with disabilities.

The seven Rewards Schools, which did well in value-added and achievement, were Central Heights, Holston, Ketron, Miller Perry and Rock Springs elementary school, Holston Middle and Sullivan South High. Miller Perry marked its second year in reward status, while South marked its second year as a reward category and its fourth year as a Level 5 school.


In chronic absenteeism overall, the system decreased from 16% to 14%, in English language learner proficiency it went from 41.9% to 70% and in Ready Graduates, those with academic and/or career technical performance, it went from 34.6% to 43.3%. And in two other long-time measures haven’t changed in a while, the system had its all-time best graduate rate of 95.4% and a composite ACT score going from 20.3 to 20.6 with 99.58% participation.

Aaron Flanary, who oversees career technical and early college opportunities, said that meant 710 out of 713 graduates took the ACT. In many or all cases, he said those who don’t take the ACT are out-of-state transfer who took the SAT instead or weren’t required to take the ACT in the other state. 

In TNReady benchmarks, Palmer said that Algebra students who were on track or had mastery went down from 26.5% to 21%, something the system will work to improve. On the other hand, Algebra II students in those categories increased from 22% to 24.3%, English I from 24% to 30.3%, English II from 35.8 % to 45.8%.

Geometry increased from 26.3% to 34.9%, social studies from 32.5% to 37.5%, U.S. History went up from 31.4% to 36.6%, grades 3-8 English language arts increased from 28.8% to 31.7% and 3-8 math increased from 29.3% to 33.6%.

And overall in TVASS systemwide, the composite was a 4, with literacy a 5, numeracy 1, literacy and numeracy combined 4 and social studies a 4.

In grades 4-8 TNReady, those scores were similar: 4 for the composite, 5 for literacy, 1 for numeracy, 4 for literacy and numeracy combined and 3 for social studies. In end-of-course testing, the results were 3 in composite, 4 in literacy, 1 in numeracy, 3 in literacy and numeracy combined and 5 in social studies.

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