Photos by Kerri Bartlett
Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney lead a TCAP celebration after the state released reports showing that WCS scored the highest in the state. (Center) Looney, Dr. Donna Wright (back left), assistant superintendent of high schools, Denise Goodwin, assistant superintendent of elementary schools, Pat Anderson, chairman of the WCS board, and Tim Gaddis, director of Teaching Learning and Assessment.
The Williamson County Schools district grabbed the top spot in the state in TCAP achievement for the second year in a row – with a slight improvement in scores in their rise to the top compared to last year.
“We are number one in the state in TCAP,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney announced today at the WCS TCAP “celebration,” after the state recently released achievement scores.
WCS scores reflect the percent of proficient and advanced students in the following areas: reading/language arts - 84 percent; math - 77 percent; science - 92 percent; and social studies - 98 percent.
Comparably, state scores reflect the percent of proficient and advanced students in the following areas: reading/language arts- 50 percent; math- 51 percent; science- 63 percent; and social studies - 85 percent.
“Your work paid off so much that we rank number one in the entire state of Tennessee in reading, math, science and social studies,” Looney said directly to students.
The WCS academic theme for this year reflected the four "R's" – rigor, relationships, relevance and relentlessness. At the beginning of the school year, Looney provided bracelets as a reminder for all WCS facuty and staff.
Denise Goodwin (left), assistant superintendent of elementary schools, Dr. Donna Wright assistant superintendent of high schools, and Tim Gaddis, director of TLA wore their bracelets at the celebration.
In addition to earning the highest scores in the state, the WCS graduation rate improved slightly from 91.8 percent in 2012 to 92.2 percent this year, and the number of high school students taking Advanced Placement English classes improved by 5 percent.
“We are outpacing the rest of the state by a significant margin,” Looney said.
“When you start unpacking the data, it tells a significant story. We are scoring 34 percentage points higher in reading than other students in the state of Tennessee.”
Another statistic that seemed to make the superintendent particularly proud is that special education students performed 10 percent higher than the general education population across the state.
“Our special education students are outperforming non-special education students across the state,” Looney said. “If that doesn’t impress you, you are not breathing.”
However, scores indicated that the WCS Hispanic population didn’t achieve at the rate of other subgroups. “We still have a little bit of work to do with our Hispanic students,” Looney said.
Tim Gaddis, Director of Teaching, Learning and Assessment said that plans are in place to help Hispanic students such as additional supports for reading instruction.
“I think that classroom differentiation and interventions contributed to the high scores for special education students,” said Gaddis.
“As for student scores as a whole, I think that Dr. Looney helped our folks focus on what’s important – student academic growth and learning. Also, formative assessments used to help students along as well as differentiation contributed to our scores.”
“We can truly move mountains and change students’ destiny by differential instruction,” Looney said.
TCAP growth scores will be released by the state later this year.