TCAP Results Show Gains In Math, Science

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jul 29, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The state has released its TCAP scores and the results showed strong gains in high school and significant gains in grades 3-8.

The Tennessee Department of Education released district-level results Wednesday morning and revealed that the majority of districts continued to make gains in science across grade levels and in grades 3-8 math.

The report showed a majority of students were proficient in math, compared to 2011, when the majority of students were proficient in math in only 24 districts.

“The support districts have offered to teachers and students has evolved as we have raised expectations for learning across the state,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “The sustained growth in high school and math and science shows us that the strategies and practices districts are using work. Now we have an opportunity to understand what has helped move student learning and replicate this in all grades and subjects, ensuring that Tennessee students have every opportunity to succeed.”

The growth in Metro Schools is outpacing state averages. Teachers are constantly analyzing the data and trying to figuring out how to help students who are often years behind, catch up.

“You can't afford to miss one minute,” Cockrill Elementary School Principal Susan Cochrane said. “You have to sweat all day long. You have to pour everything you have.”

In Metro Schools there continues to be steady growth in almost every subject. For the first time in years Algebra 1 and Biology 1 joined high school English classes with more than half of students on grade level or advanced.

“We're talking about thousands of lives,” Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jay Steele said, “thousands of young people who are better prepared for success and life.”

Third grade students continue to struggle with reading as the proficiency numbers dipped below 40 percent.

“We believe that every child should be able to read on grade level by the third grade,” Chris Henson, Interim Director of Metro Schools, explained. “Between (expanding) pre-kindergarten and reading recovery and our literacy program with our reading interventionists that’s our goal.”

Nearly 19,000 more Metro students are on grade level when compared to five years ago. Since 2011, across the state 131,000 more students are on grade level in math and nearly 60,000 more students are on grade level in science.

“This is great for my teachers. It's going to get them started and let them know what they did,” Cochrane said about her school’s results which included a 28.6% increase in math since 2010.

Still, thousands more students continue to lag behind. It makes the celebration short lived, because there’s still more work to do.

“Now we have to get ready and do it again,” Cochrane said. “One more year.”