Several Hamilton County schools are celebrating, while others are commiserating after the release of the State Report Card from the Tennessee Department of Education.  The newly designed report rates schools on a scale of zero to 4, with 4 being the highest.  The ratings are in several categories including academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, graduation rate, and graduation readiness.

In academic achievement, perfect scores (4.0) went to Collegiate High School at Chattanooga State, Lookout Mountain, Nolan, and Thrasher elementary schools, Signal Mountain Middle/High, and the STEM school.  Just under the perfect score were North Hamilton Elementary with a 3.8, Apison Elementary with a 3.7,  Center for Creative Arts with 3.6, and Smith Elementary with a 3.5.

However, in that same category, Calvin Donaldson Elementary, Central High, Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence, East Lake Elementary, Hardy Elementary, Red Bank High, Sequoyah High, and Brown Academy all scored Zero in academic achievement.

Slightly above zero were East Ridge High and Tyner Academy with a 0.2, Lakeside Academy with a 0.6, and Ooltewah High, Red Bank Elementary, and the Howard School with a 0.9.

In graduation readiness, several county high schools came up short.  Tyner scored a 0.4, East Ridge High and Hixson High scored a 1.2, Red Bank High scored a 1.8, and Sequoyah and Howard scored a 2.0.

In graduation rates, Brainerd, Ooltewah and Sale Creek scored a 2.0, Howard and Soddy- Daisy at 2.2, Red Bank a 2.4,  Sequoyah a 2.6, and East Hamilton a 2.8.

At the other end of the spectrum, Chattanooga School for Arts and Sciences, Signal Mountain, Center for Creative Arts and Collegiate High School were a perfect 4 in both graduation categories. 

Here is the statement from the Tennessee Department of Education:

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today released the new, redesigned state report card for 2017-18. This tool was developed over the past year with educators, parents, and community organizations and includes a number of new features based on that feedback, including school ratings, a Spanish translation of the site, and additional new data about the performance of different student groups.

The new report card is intended to help families better understand school performance and support student success. The updated design of the report card and information that is included in the tool, including the new rating system, is based on input the department received as it developed a plan to transition to the new federal K-12 education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, and has several components that are unique to Tennessee.

“We want families to have easy access to information about their school’s performance and how it is meeting the needs of all students, and we want them to have that context on a variety of metrics that encompass success,” Commissioner McQueen said. “The report card provides parents and community members with an additional snapshot of information to understand how their school is performing, see successes, and know where to ask questions and get engaged.”

While the department has published a state report card for a number of years, the redesigned version includes a number of updates. For the first time, the report card provides schools with ratings on up to six indicators designated in Tennessee Succeeds, the state’s ESSA plan. These indicators capture different aspects of school performance and include academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, progress on English language proficiency, and graduation rate. The report card also includes a new measure called the Ready Graduate indicator that that looks for students’ readiness for college and career to let families know how students are being prepared for life after graduation.

The rating system provides a score of 0.0 to 4.0 on each indicator, similar to a GPA, with 4.0 being the highest. Parents can click through to see more information behind each rating, including how both the full student population and different student groups are performing. Ratings are based either on how well the school is doing overall or how much it improved over the last year; the school receives the higher of the two. The department has shared more information about the rating system and indicators, as well as context on how schools were rated in 2017-18, here.

Additional new features include a new full Spanish translation of the website, an opportunity for principals and superintendents to share messages about their schools, and a wealth of new metrics, including new details on the performance of different student groups and new data in areas like discipline and attendance. The department will continue to update and improve this tool in future years as it receives additional feedback, which families can share via the report card home page. To view the new report card, click here.