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Hamilton County Department of Education

3074 Hickory Valley Road Chattanooga, TN 37421

Tel 423.209.8400

For Immediate Release
December 13, 2016

Contact: Amy Katcher

(423) 209-8602

Hamilton County Schools Make Huge Strides in Literacy and Outpace Other Large Districts in State
Ranking Growth
Tennessees recently released 2015-2016 EOC data highlight how the emphasis on literacy
in Hamilton County has paid off in a big way. Not only did it earn Hamilton County a district-wide
Level 5 Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) score for High School English, but
Hamilton County Schools saw the biggest improvement in ranking of any of the largest four school
systems in Tennessee.
Hamilton County received a 5 (the highest possible score) for Value-Added in High School
English. In addition, the number of students scoring on-track or mastered in English increased. This
performance led to a 4.3 percentile change in ranking based on achievement from 2015 to 2016,
outpacing the other large districts, which includes Metro Nashville, Shelby County, Knox County,
and Hamilton County.
From 2015 to 2016, Hamilton Countys percentile rank in math improved by 15.3 points.
Based on the number of students that scored on-track or mastered, Hamilton County ranks second
among the largest districts, only behind Knox County. Hamilton County received a 1 in ValueAdded for High School Math.
Hamilton Countys Composite Value-Added score improved from a 1 in 2015 to a 2 in 2016.
While we would love to have 5s in all areas, our emphasis on literacy shows we can make positive
gains. Now we need to put the same emphasis on mathematics and science, said Interim
Superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly.
Brainerd High School, the only HCDE High School in the States IZone, received 3 in both
Literacy and Numeracy Value-Added. The Composite Value-Added score significantly improved
from a 1 in 2015 to a 3 in 2016. According to the state, a value-added score of 3 indicates that a
school is making expected growth.
TNReady assessments set a new bar for students with more rigorous standards and a new
test that aligns closer with national tests, such as the ACT. Student proficiency dropped
significantly across the State; however, this does not indicate that students failed to improve, but
illustrates that TN has raised the bar to better prepare students for College and Career. For the
first time, we are able to provide educators, families, and students with better information about
where students truly are on their path to college and careers, Tennessee Education

Commissioner Candice McQueen said recently. We expected scores to be lower in this first year
of a more rigorous assessment, but we also expect that scores will rebound over time as all
students grow to meet these higher expectationsjust as we have seen in the past.
The number of Hamilton County students that met the ACT College Readiness benchmark
on all four sections of the ACT increased from 15% to 19.1%. On individual sections, students
scoring college ready increased by 5% or more in English, Math, and Science. While the state
composite score remained the same, Hamilton County students ACT composite score improved.
Today we are thankful for the hard work of our students, teachers, and principals, said
Chief Academic Officer Jill Levine, and we look forward to future success as we continue to
implement our new strategic plan.