UPDATE: 'Historic' student academic growth in Hamilton County Schools
UPDATE: Hamilton County school officials are celebrating a major milestone for the district.
For the first time ever, the school district earned perfect level 5 scores in all five categories of statewide student academic growth.
A record number of schools in the district were also rated level 5 schools and reward schools while a record number of teachers now meet or exceed the criteria for student growth expectations this year.
"Can we have a drum roll, please?" Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson asked students and teachers helping with the big reveal.
One by one the numbers dropped on Wednesday. A crowd of educators, students and city leaders watched and cheered as the results of their hard work were put on display.
"The numbers show great growth for our students and the progress is something to be celebrated," Elementary School Teacher Sarah Pratt said.
45 schools were rated level 5 schools and 32 schools were rated "reward schools"--the highest level of recognition a school can receive in Tennessee.
"It means the rate of change and the rate of improvement in our school system was above the state expectation, and it points to the work the teachers are doing in the classroom and leaders are doing in the building," Johnson explained.
Categories include: literacy, numeracy, social studies and an overall composite score.
It's a vast improvement from just two years ago when the district was rated a level 1 overall.
District 11 State Senator Bo Watson says it's just part of a statewide upswing thanks to an emphasis on education that has started in the governor's office and trickled down.
"Tennessee is really moving the needle in education, particularly K-12 education and the state's investment over the past several years has continued to increase," Watson told Channel 3.
City and county leaders say this is only the beginning of rising success for Hamilton County Schools.
School officials also announced that now the number of teachers in the district who meet or exceed in student growth expectations has doubled to 80%.
PREVIOUS STORY: Students in Hamilton County made 'historic' progress in academic achievement according to new 2019 data, Hamilton County Schools announced.
According to a press release, Hamilton County Schools scored a record Level 5 status in all five categories of an evaluation from the Tennessee Department of Education.
Every year, the Education Department evaluates districts and schools for a statewide Value-Added Assessment System using five levels and categories: Literacy & Numeracy, Literacy, Numeracy, Social Studies and Overall Growth.
These evaluations measure student growth from one school year to the next, gauging school and teacher effectiveness.
Two years ago, Hamilton County Schools scored an overall Level 1 and last year, scored an overall Level 3.
21 schools also earned a Level 5 in all five categories and 45 schools earned a Level 5 overall.
The district also earned a record number of Reward schools, a top distinction a school can earn in the state. 32 schools earned Reward School status, 17 more than last year.
“The growth of our schools and students this year underscores everyone’s commitment to exceeding expectations, and because of the efforts of our teachers, leaders, staff, board, community, and students we have improved at rates that are simply remarkable,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “On state academic growth, our schools and students knocked it out of the park!”