Heralded by the front page headline 'Great news for schools', Knox County schools have achieved an NCLB rating of 'adequate'. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports:
Vine and four other Knox County schools improved test scores and other performance measures enough during the past two years to be removed from the high-priority list.
On balance, though, the improvements were enough to boost the school system as a whole into the category of adequately performing districts. Sixty-one of the system's 79 schools that fall under the federal program are making adequate progress.
According to the article, seven schools are still on the underperforming list, including two new ones, and eleven more are on notice.
The article explains one of the measures being taken:
Donna Wright, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said the school system broke down testing data to determine what each student needed. That approach should help correct problems at the remaining underperforming schools, Wright said.
Read the article for more details and some interesting background on NCLB in Tennessee.
To summarize, it seems that if you set your standards low enough, 'adequate' is, well, adequate. Not quite 'great', but adequate. And if you actually teach individual children (as opposed to mass producing robotic test-takers) you might actually see improvements. Perhaps with such innovative thinking, Knox County Schools can rise above 'adequate' and achieve 'mostly OK' status.
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