Test Scores Show Gains in Younger Grades but Trouble in Algebra II, Biology

Tennessee’s district-by-district test scores for the last academic year are out. Two-thirds of the school systems saw across-the board improvement on the state’s standardized tests for elementary and middle schools, known as TCAP. Results for high school are more mixed.

The big question that test scores answer is how many students have mastered enough of a subject to be considered ready for the next level. That’s called proficiency, and out of Tennessee’s 136 districts, more than 50 saw significant growth in the number of students that reached that point in Algebra I. However, just as many districts lost ground in Algebra II. In most school systems, fewer than half of the students taking Algebra II made the grade.

Scores are solid across the state on the US History exam; 8 districts are at 100 percent proficiency in that subject. Most school systems seem to at least be holding steady or making small gains in high school English classes. Biology I, however, seems to be more of a challenge. 30 districts saw a drop in the number of students passing that test.

The lowest scores for Algebra II were in Humboldt City Schools, where only 2.8 percent of the students pulled out a proficient score. In Middle Tennessee, Humphreys County had a pass rate of only 7.3 percent.

On the other hand, Perry County’s elementary and middle school math grades shot up. Those scores were 28 percent higher than last year.

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