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Hamilton Co. Schools Scores Low in Literacy
Grades are in and the online Tennessee schools report card shows major strides are still needed for literacy.
Children who fail at reading become adults who are unprepared to be good citizens and get the most out of their lives. Hamilton County parents reacted to this year's results.
"I do see a decline. Looking at this paper, I look at the breakdown of the ethnicity and the type of students that are in the school system. I think if there were more classes that helped with English as a second language that that would probably improved the literacy," said Gurling Lafalaise, a parent of fourth and eighth graders.
Statewide with $9,293 spent per student, goals for third through eighth grade reading language and English were not met, but the graduation rate did go up. In Hamilton County Schools where $9,444 are being spent per student, according to the value-added assessment system, literacy scored the lowest of one out of five. Goals also were not met for the same reading and English categories as the state level, and the graduation rate didn't improve, the report found.
"My fourth grader had a hard time in reading, and with the tutoring and with me buckling down, he's improved much this year," said Valerie Elder, a parent of first and fourth graders.
But county educators realize that's not enough. Superintendent Rick Smith said they plan to add benchmark reading tests several times a year and remedial classes.
"Through that benchmarking we're going to be able to see where our kids are now, not waiting on TCAP but now. That should give our teachers an opportunity to adjust if they need to adjust," said Smith.
To get those numbers up, the data shows it's clear gaps need to close for minorities and disadvantaged students.
"That's the one area when you look at our record card that we need to focus on," said Smith.
Parents said they also think educators should expand their plan to target remedial students to all schools, not just under-performing schools.
For a look at how schools in Tennessee performed this year, go to http://www.tn.gov/education/reportcard/2013.shtml.
By Briona ArradondoHamilton Co. Schools Scores Low in Literacy
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