MNPS Shares Its Optimism with the Chamber Report Card Committee
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – (July 31, 2018) – Metro Nashville Public Schools Director, Dr. Shawn Joseph, made the district’s annual update to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Report Card Committee July 27 sharing encouraging data seen in preliminary state and district level TNReady results received July 19 from the Tennessee Department of Education.
MNPS fared slightly better than the state average in English/Language Arts showing more progress than the state overall from 2017 to 2018. The district saw further progress in Limited English Proficient (LEP) students, slightly exceeding state growth in grades 3-8.
“There is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the trends we are seeing in this data,” said Dr. Shawn Joseph, MNPS director of schools. “Our teams have worked extremely hard to move the needle in student achievement and because of that dedication, we are seeing improved outcomes in multiple areas.”
In regard to industry certifications and pathway dual credit, there were 472 more students who took industry certifications in the 2017-2018 school year than in the previous year, and 291 more students passed the exams. Similarly, 487 more students took dual enrollment credits with 61 percent of those students earning college credit, also an increase from previous years.
“Our board is pleased with the progress we are making and these slight gains show that we are moving in the right direction,” said Anna Shepherd, Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education Chair. “While we realize there is further work to do, we remain focused on what matters the most – improved academic performance for our students.”
More evidence of progress came from the preliminary analysis of Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores from February and TNReady scores from April in grades 3-8, which showed a strong relationship between the two assessments. The correlation was above 0.8 percent at every grade level for Reading/ELA and at every grade level except grade 8 in Math.
“The high correlation indicates that students who did well on MAP also generally did well on TNReady,” said Dr. Paul Changas, MNPS executive director of Research, Assessment & Evaluation. “Contingency tables between the two assessments show that the vast majority
of students projected to reach On Track or Mastery status on TNReady actually did so, with a relatively small percentage falling short.”
The state administered test saw disruptions again this year, with the greatest challenges happening at the high school level. The district believes those challenges led to adverse performance outcomes in grades 9-12, but will do further work in analyzing the impact.
Among priorities for the 2018-2019 school year, the district plans to continue its momentum emphasizing literacy work, an area that has demonstrated the strongest improvement over the last year. In addition, providing social-emotional learning supports for students and increasing instructional time will be among the district’s focus as well with hope of continuing the downward trend that saw 1,782 fewer suspensions over the 2016-2017 school year.
“We are still suspending too many students, particularly African-American students, and this will be an area of focus that we will aggressively work to improve this coming school year,” Joseph said.
Since 1992, the Chamber has convened a diverse group of business and community leaders to assess the progress of Metro Nashville Public Schools through the collection of data, school visits and conversations with city and school system leaders, community stakeholders, principals, teachers and students. The Education Report Card is presented in December to the school board, the director of schools, the mayor, and to the broader Nashville community.
“We appreciate the Chamber’s Report Card Committee’s interest in Metro Schools and the commitment of the business and community leaders who volunteer their time to assess our work and collaborating as partners with us to ensure we have an achievement-focused school district that supports the learning challenges of all students,” Joseph said. “We look forward to continuing the work to accelerate literacy efforts as we also place a more intentional focus on improving instructional time for all students in this new school year.”
Metro Nashville Public Schools is one of the nation’s top 50 largest school districts, preparing 88,000 students for higher education, work and life. With the goal of being the first choice for Nashville families, Metro Schools is committed to #ExceedingGreatExpectations with the mission of delivering a great public education to every student, every day. The district is earning a national reputation for urban school reform, social and emotional learning and rising academic achievement. The governing body for Metro Schools is the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education, a nine-member elected body. For more information, visit MNPS.org, or follow us on Twitter @MetroSchools or Facebook /MetroSchools.