There are a handful of bright spots in a so-so year for high school standardized testing statewide. Tennessee moved to a much harder test last year to match the difficulty in other states. This was the first opportunity for any year-to-year comparisons. District-level scores were released Wednesday.
The three-year-old Germantown Municipal School District outside of Memphis outperformed everyone on the majority of this year's end-of-course exams. Roughly 90 percent of its suburban students met expectations in science, 72 percent in English and 55 percent in math. Those were the highest scores in the state.
In Middle Tennessee, a few districts are being praised for bringing along the stragglers. Rutherford, Sumner and Williamson county schools reduced the number of students performing below expectations in all subjects.
For most districts, it was a mixed bag. Like in Metro Schools, there was slight improvement in English and science but backsliding in math where nearly 90 percent of students are still below expectations.
Math has emerged as a real trouble spot across the state on the new testing. Not only are questions no longer multiple choice, most are word problems requiring long answers.