TN Ready testing results positive for many East TN school districts

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The results from the 2018 TN Ready Testing were made public Thursday morning. Overall, our end of the state did well on last year’s statewide standardized tests.

Six districts saw bumps in math scores, compared to 2018: Anderson County, Oak Ridge, Campbell County, Roane County, Scott County, and Sevier County. Third graders at Oneida City Schools bumped up their English and Language Arts average score by 21 points.

Knox County saw several increases across several categories; for high schoolers, specifically:

  • 44.2% of students were on track or mastered in English and Language Arts (up from 38.2% in 2018)
  • 31.7% of students were on track or mastered in math (up from 30.5% in 2018)
  • 36.0% of students were on track or mastered in U.S. history (down from 38.8% in 2018)

For middle schoolers, grades 6-8:

  • 38.4% of students were on grade level or mastered in English and Language Arts (up from 35.6% in 2018)
  • 35.4% of students were on grade level or mastered in math (up from 34.7% in 2018)

One of the best-performing school districts in the state is also in our area: Maryville City Schools.

They were the only district in the state to increase their English and language arts scores for all students from third-eighth grades. That’s roughly 2,400 students.

Mike Winstead credited the achievement to the hard work of their teachers. He said, as a district, they all take part in book studies. He said they also strive to seek out best practices to make sure they’re making the most of their time in the classroom.

Winstead also said most of their Title 1 funds go to paying teaching assistants for every classroom from kindergarten through second grade.

Because he said they’ve put an emphasis on learning to read well at an early age, and adding the resources to help teachers get more one-on-one time, he believes they’re now seeing some of the fruits of that labor.

He also says his teaching staff is flexible and willing to change.

He said they’ve created a culture of asking the questions: “What can we do to better use that time? What are the things that work and what are the things that don’t work. It may be something we’ve done for 20 years that we don’t need to do often or don’t do at all. That’s been a good conversation with our teachers,” he said.

Overall, Maryville City Schools are in the top ten in Tennessee for TN Ready test scores.

In Algebra 2, specifically, they rank number one. Winstead said Thursday they’re not getting complacent. In fact, he hopes to curb the gender gap in reading and algebra.

Jenna Hunt teaches 8th grade English at Maryville Junior High School. She’s encouraged by the results and credits some of the success to technology.

Through writing and grammar programs, with the ability to challenge students and help catch them up, she said she’s able to pull all students together no matter what level they’re at.

Hunt said she takes a learning inventory on students at the beginning of a school year to learn what type of learner a student is. She’s also tried out guided learning, Socratic seminars and peer learning, and strategically pairing up students to optimize class time.

“We have such pride in our school and our students and our successes. we just couldn’t be prouder of them from last year,” she said.

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