Story by Elise Shelton, CMCSS
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The state Department of Education today released its system by system report card and Clarksville-Montgomery County has scored an all-time high in both achievement and growth since the transition to the Tennessee Diploma Project standards. CMCSS earned three A’s and one B in Achievement and three B’s and one A in student growth.
“Am I surprised at these results?” Schools Director B.J. Worthington asked. “No, because our teachers and administrators are working tirelessly to make sure our students are successful. Am I pleased? Yes, very.”
The state’s grading system indicates that a “C” is meeting expected growth and achievement, while a “B” and an “A” exceed the expectations. The annual Report Card is a comprehensive showcase of state, district and school-level data for each school year. The Report Card includes demographics, achievement results, accountability progress, value-added data, attendance figures, graduation rate and more for the state’s 136 public school districts.
The graduation rate for CMCSS this year was 94 percent, as compared to 95.2 percent last year. Dr. Worthington explains, “This year’s students who graduated had more requirements than ever before. The state-mandated changes which occurred in the 2013 graduating class are that each student had to have 22 credits, including four years of math, a financial planning course and an additional physical education course. Prior to this, students who were English Language Learners (ELL) or in Special Education, were given five years to complete their high school requirements. Now, they have to complete more requirements in four years. Also, in the past students had 3 End of Course Gateway assessments required for graduation, today, though passing the End of Course is not required for graduation, the 2013 class was the first with 7 End of Course assessments which counted as 25 percent of the students’ 2nd semester grades.
“When you look at last year’s 95.2 percent graduation rate, that was great, but when you look at 94 percent, that’s even more impressive because now we know we have Special Education students, ELL students and regular education students who are achieving more. They have completed that fourth year of math and are being successful in it. I think all of those changes and requirements are going to be better for our students.”
To hear from Dr. Worthington about the 2013 State Report Card results, watch the video: