TN Dept. of Education releases district-level TNReady test results

Students test at Hixson High School. (Image: WTVC)

On Thursday the Tennessee Department of Education released district-level statewide testing results for the 2016-2017 school year, under the program known as TNReady.

The more detailed numbers come a few weeks after the department announced that statewide scores showed overall improvement, for the second year in a row.

And these numbers come a few days after it was revealed that thousands of tests statewide were scored incorrectly, including scores from schools in Hamilton County and Bradley County.

Here are the district level results released Thursday by the state in an Excel spreadsheet.

For Hamilton County, the number of students approaching the benchmark score in biology went up about 2 percent.

In 2016, that number was 22.6 percent. It's now just over 24 percent.

In English I, more Hamilton county students are on scoring on track this year than last.

In 2016, the percentage was just about 16.5 percent. This year it's jumped to 21.5 percent.

In chemistry, the number of Hamilton County students who scored below average slightly decreased.

Compare just over 36 percent in 2016 to 34 percent this year.

And in high school science, students scored higher. Last year, 11.5 percent of students scored in the "percent mastered." This year, that number is up to just over 13 percent.

Look up your district's results here.

House Speaker Beth Harwell called for the hearing on the test scores.

According to the State Education Department, almost 10,000 tests were scored incorrectly.

The state department says about 1,700 of the incorrect tests, actually ended up with a different overall score.

The state says the miscalculated scores did not impact state averages.

We asked Speaker Harwell if there were issues with the testing vendors, or issues within the education department.

Speaker Harwell told us, "I think that's why the hearing is necessary. To ask those questions, and receive the answers. I think it's appropriate role for the legislature, we sign these contracts. We want to make sure we're getting what we deserve as Tennesseans.

Here is the full release from the TN Dept. of Education, sent to NewsChannel 9 in an email:

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen released all of the 2017 district- and school-level TNReady results today, highlighting that high school students showed across-the-board growth in all subject areas. All TNReady results have been finalized for the 0.1% of assessments where the performance level changed due to scoring issues.

These scores are the first complete set of results for TNReady, which is a more rigorous assessment that is aligned to Tennessee’s academic standards, and follow the release of state-level results earlier this year for both grades 3-8 and high school. Because it was the first year of TNReady for elementary and middle school students, their results set a new baseline for future growth, and achievement scores cannot be compared to past TCAP assessments. This was the second year high school students completed TNReady. Overall, these results provide families and educators with better information about what students know and are able to do, so they can support students’ readiness for their next step in their education journey – which is the goal of state assessments.

“We continue to be incredibly proud of the work our educators and students are doing each day, and TNReady provides us with one key feedback loop that we all can use to provide every student in Tennessee with a high-quality education,” McQueen said. “These results show us both where we can learn from schools that are excelling and where we have specific schools or student groups that need better support to help them achieve success – so they graduate from high school with the ability to choose their path in life. We are also particularly proud given what today’s results represent: providing families and educators with better information about students’ performance so they can help them improve.”

Today’s results are a key milestone in Tennessee education. In 2007, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Tennessee an “F” for Truth in Advertising about students’ true reading and math abilities. At the time, there was a large disparity between what TCAP results showed – which was that about 90% of students were proficient – and what more rigorous benchmarks like the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) said, which was that only about 20-30% of Tennessee students were proficient. Nationally, Tennessee generally ranked among the bottom third of states in education achievement.

In response, Tennessee leaders and schools began improving academic standards, aligning state assessments to accurately reflect student achievement and growth, and strengthening accountability. Now, for the first time, our state test shows similar performance as exams like ACT and NAEP. Tennessee has improved its ranking on the Nation’s Report Card, including moving into the top 25 states in three areas. Additionally, Tennessee has improved from a 72.6% graduation rate in 2007 to 89.1% in 2017, among the top 10 states for graduation rate in the country.

This story will be updated.

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