A month ago, we wrote about Bearden High School, where the faculty and staff were reeling from the news that Bearden’s Tennessee Value Added Assessment (TVAAS) ranking had plunged from a good-as-it-gets Level 5 all the way to Level 1, the lowest score possible. Schools that stay at Level 1 are labeled by the state as failing. Teachers that stay at Level 1 get fired.
Bearden’s fall was so steep and dramatic that five other KCS high schools – Central, Gibbs, Paul Kelley Volunteer Academy, L&N STEM Academy, and West – were also rated Level 1 for 2014-15 and went virtually unnoticed.
Confetti flew when Gov. Bill Haslam brought the state commissioner of education to Carter Middle School on Aug. 3 to celebrate last year’s test scores. Haslam said Carter Middle had gone from a “Level 1” to a “Level 5” in one year, and Knox County was labeled “an exemplary district.”
But no one mentioned the soft spots in this “exemplary” status.
For instance, Bearden High School plummeted from “Level 5” to “Level 1” in a year. Even a month later parents of Bearden High kids had not been told.