Friday, July 19, 2013

How Low Will ASD School TCAP Scores Be?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Chris Barbic
  • Chris Barbic
The superintendent of the Achievement School District, Chris Barbic, took the unusual step of explaining, or spinning if you will, the TCAP standardized test scores before they are released.

Barbic wrote a column for The Commercial Appeal Friday in which he let the cat out of the bag and confirmed what some teachers have been saying for a couple weeks — the state-run ASD schools (education jargon for failing schools) got mixed results.

"Not all is rosy. Our kids are far behind in reading and we need to catch them up. There are bright spots in reading — for example, students at Gordon Science and Arts Academy grew nearly three grade levels this year. But overall our students' reading scores dipped."

There was no accompanying news story on school-by-school TCAP scores, which Barbic wrote will be released the week of July 22nd. In an email to the Flyer earlier this week, Kelli Gauthier, director of communications for the Tennessee Department of Education, said the scores would be released next week. The statewide TCAP results have been released and can be found here.

The ASD has set a high bar for itself — to move the lowest-performing schools to the top 25 percent in five years. Teachers, especially those who lost their jobs because they were deemed mediocre or worse in raising student test scores, will be watching closely.

To its credit, the ASD has not cherry-picked students or schools — just the opposite. But raising test scores across the board in all subjects is, as Barbic wrote, "incredibly difficult work" because low-scoring students can pull down the average.

Veteran teachers are likely to say something like "welcome to my world."

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