Written by:  Amelia Morrison Hipps
July 29, 2015

LEBANON, TENNESSEE — Wilson County Schools surpassed the state in the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced in 23 out of 25 subject areas, according to the data released by the Tennessee Department of Education today.

The 2015 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) scores showed the results from the Achievement Tests for grades three through eight and the End of Course scores for high school students.

“We continue to be proud of the tireless effort and dedication of our teachers and administrators who work on providing quality instruction every single day for the students of Wilson County,” Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright said.

Testing and Accountability Supervisor Jennifer Cothron stressed that the scores “capture a moment in time. They measure a student’s performance at a single point in time comparing that to a standard. TCAP scores do not measure the growth, or knowledge gained, of the student over the past year.

“However, when achievement scores, such as these, are used with growth scores, they give us a more complete picture of each student’s learning process, which in turn aids us in helping to provide more focused instruction for each student,” she continued.

Students in Wilson County posted impressive gains in grades three through eight math. Twelve out of 14 elementary/middle schools showed gains in three through eighth grade math.

“Students scoring proficient or advanced on the math portion of the TCAP assessment increased by 6.9 percent,” said Cothron. “The greatest gains occurred in seventh grade as students scoring proficient or advanced increased 10.6 percent.”

Wilson County students in grades three through eight performed 12.2 percent higher than other districts across the state in Reading Language Arts, while students across the state of Tennessee posted a 1.1 percent decline in proficiency in Reading Language Arts in the same grades.

High school students showed gains in English II with 76.1 percent of students scoring proficient and advanced compared to the state average of 64.8 percent.

While the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced in English III dropped by 1.4 percent, the number of students enrolled in AP English III increased by 108 students (a 46.8 percent increase in the number of students taking AP English III).

“Three years ago, the state started testing those taking English III and those taking AP English III separately,” explained Cothron. “Given that, we were not surprised to see the very small drop in scores by regular English III students given how many had moved into AP English III.”

Advanced Placement scores in Wilson County surpassed the state and the nation in students scoring a 3 or higher.

Students in Wilson County showed a decline in Algebra I and Algebra II during the 2014-2015 school year.

“We have already included additional supports for the upcoming school year to ensure all students receive the needed support to be successful,” said Wright. “We will continue to monitor the progress of students in these courses.”

In regards to science and social studies, Cothron said it should be noted that the Tennessee Department of Education will not be releasing any data for social studies due to the fact that there was not an operational assessment given to students in Tennessee.

However, Wilson County students’ science scores in grades three though eight scored 17.4 percent higher than other students across the state.

“After reviewing the data released by the Tennessee Department of Education, the Wilson County School system has much to recognize and to be proud of,” said Wright. “The students, teachers, administrators and parents of this county will continue to work diligently to help improve both student achievement and growth as students’ progress through school.”

The Department of Education will be releasing final district determinations and AMO (Annual Measurable Objective) results in the future.