Farragut High School, L N STEM Academy, Powell Middle School, Rocky Hill Elementary School, and Sequoyah Elementary School were named to the Tennessee Department of Education's 2014 "Rewards School" list.

Reward Schools are "the top 5 percent of schools in the state for performance—as measured by overall student achievement levels—and the top 5 percent for year-over-year progress—as measured by schoolwide value-added data."

SOURCE: 2014 School Accountability

gonzone's picture

Great news for those schools!

Great news for those schools! How can it be that the very same school district can have four schools in the bottom 5% while these are so successful?

We know it is within the realm of possibility and yet we have such dramatically different results. Some of our group have made great suggestions on how to fix the problem and it would be wonderful to see all the schools doing well.
Is there sufficient political will for that to happen?

Roscoe Persimmon's picture

If families value education, the students/schools will perform

If the family of the student does not prioritize and value education and the student's performance, the student/school will not perform well.

There is nothing the Knox County Board of Education can do or can do well if the student and his family do not prioritize education, accountability, and performance at the top of the list.

It's really not that complicated, where it gets dicey is where we decide to throw huge piles of money at an emerging socio economic problem, give students free ipads, MacBook pros, huge new buildings, private transportation to/from school of their choice, free lunch, free breakfast, free shoes, boots, and jackets and think that is educating a child.

If a child can't learn, don't blame the school or the teacher, start by looking in the mirror and see what the answer is.

Tess's picture

I will play

These schools are in the areas of Knox County that draw students from families with the most income. And, you know everything that goes with that...parents who are likely to be more highly educated than the norm, kids who have more outside educational and social opportunities and who have bellies that are fed when they get to school and after, and parents who will pony up money for classroom supplies, etc. No surprises here.

fischbobber's picture

Kinda sorta

That may be true Sequoyah and Farragut, but if that were the entire story, A.L. Lotts , Farragut Middle and Bearden High would be on the list instead of L&N STEM, Rocky Hill, and Powell Middle. As I've noted in SPEAK, the wealthy parents are the one's we struggle to get supply money from as often as not. What I do think you see in these schools is a value placed on education that is missing from comparable schools. I speak as one of several middle class parents I know that push their children to do their best in everything they do. What you see in the three schools I've noted is a desperation from parents who see the gap between rich and poor widening and view the time frame for jumping that gap to the American Dream narrowing. That's what I feel and hear from those around me. It's also about zoning. When the last rezoning occurred I pulled out a map to figure out whether we were a winner or loser. Our neighborhood was a clear winner, but when I cross-checked that against exactly which kids would be going where, it was clear that we were being zoned based on what our kids were doing academically. A lot of what is going on is just jacking numbers around. It happens every day on production reports in corporations all across America.

TNchickadee's picture

Anyone else notice the

Anyone else notice the priority schools are in areas of high poverty,and the reward schools are not? Why do we continue to deny the effect of poverty and the home situations that often accompany it? Does it explain the success or stuggles of all children? No.But this connection should not be ignored by those who insist that all children can achieve the same results in the same amount of time.

bizgrrl's picture

Exactly, to both Tess and

Exactly, to both Tess and TNchickadee.

It's a duh... Now, what can be done to educate all children?

itsaboutkids's picture

Junk science?

We also have to keep in mind how these designations are calculated and determined. As late as this Tuesday, Farragut Middle fully expected to be placed on the "focus" school list based on their achievement "gap" between special ed and other students. Even though FMS is among the top Tn schools in special ed "achievement". So a top 5% special ed "achieving" school was going to be labeled a focus school. Amazingly, just days before the release of the list, the data was "recalculated" and FMS meet their goal with "safe harbor". All education "data" must be questioned. There is no transparency or legitimacy at any level anymore.

Bad Paper's picture

Broad Academy Virus?

Both KCS and the state love their classifications. Unfortunately, that is a sign or viral infection. (link...)

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