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WCS, FSSD earn straight A's on state report card

Kevin Deck, assessment analyst and Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney discuss Williamson County School’s state report card scores. Kerri Bartlett

Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District received straight A’s in academic achievement on the State Report Card released Wednesday by the Tennessee Department of Education. 
The report reflects a comprehensive measure of state, district and school-level data in grades 3 through 8 and 9 through 12 for each school year. 
“I recognize students, teachers and parents. This is a result of their hard work,” WCS Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney said.  
WCS received straight A’s not only in academic achievement but academic growth as well. WCS ranks above statewide averages, especially on the ACT in which WCS averaged 23.4, while the state averaged between 19.1 and 19.5. WCS’s graduation rate is also 93.8 percent. 
Looney said that the average student made more than one year’s worth of academic growth. Also, he reported that WCS Students With Disabilities outperformed students without disabilities across the rest of the state. 
 Just three years ago, WCS earned a D in growth in math, reading and science. However, WCS has earned an A in achievement in all subjects over the past three years. 
“We provide outstanding results for taxpayers,” Looney said. 
“We focus on what’s best for the student and remain committed to local reform efforts.”
Looney explained that the “WCS reading initiative” over the past few years contributed to the increase in reading scores, while the recent Ladders to Hope student-led ACT initiative is an example of success in the district’s own backyard. 
“I have worked in other rural districts, and It’s the grassroots reforms that show the most results under localized control,” Looney said. “These types of reforms work across communities and across cultures.”
WCS spends $8,400 per pupil, about $600 less than the state average. This, Looney said, is one of the lowest rates in the state. 
“We do a lot with little,” he said.
Franklin Special School District
Franklin Special School District continues an upward trajectory in achievement and growth. The district earned all A’s in achievement, just like last year, and has shown consistent growth in all subject areas. 
In achievement, FSSD improved its average score compared to last year by over two points with a composite of 65.5. The district’s academic growth increased from a B to an A in both math and science, while they received an A in social studies.
While the reading and language grade in academic growth is a C, one year of academic gain is reflected. 
Dr. David Snowden, FSSD Director of Schools, credits the performance to hardworking students and teachers. 
“The days are gone where teachers work in isolation. Today it is so much about collaboration,” Snowden said. “All teachers work together in their learning communities. 
Teachers are constantly analyzing data and looking at individual students strengths and working together to help children achieve at the highest level. It’s the reason they come to work each day.” 

Posted on: 11/14/2013


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