Oak Ridge Schools were among the highest rated schools in the state according to the Tennessee Department of Education’s (TDOE) new Letter Grade Rating System, released earlier today. Six Oak Ridge schools earned an “A” letter grade, the highest possible rating, and three earned perfect Level 5 scores in every scored component contributing to the overall grade. Oak Ridge Preschool is not eligible for a school letter grade because they do not serve students in grades that participate in state assessments.
“It is nearly impossible to capture the success of a school and the incredibly intricate and multifaceted work of its educators with a single letter grade, but I am thrilled to see tireless work of our students, teachers and staff positively recognized in these outstanding letter grades,” said Dr. Bruce Borchers, Superintendent of Oak Ridge Schools. “Over the last several years our schools have reached amazing new heights and I am excited to have an opportunity to shine a light on their success once again.”
Every Oak Ridge school earned a Level 5 in Student Achievement, the highest possible score, as a result of the district’s Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) test results earlier this year. During Spring testing, Oak Ridge Schools outperformed the state average, collectively, by more than 13 percentage points. In the new grading system, student achievement is weighted equally to student growth, and is an area the district plans to target as an opportunity for improvement moving forward.
“As with any assessment, we will use these letter grades as an opportunity to celebrate the good work happening in our schools and identify areas where we can continue to improve and positively impact student achievement,” said Borchers, Superintendent of Oak Ridge Schools. “While our student achievement numbers remain ahead of the state averages, we will continue to use data from our predictive assessments throughout the year to implement impactful learning strategies in the classroom and remain diligent in doing what’s best for our students.”
Scores are calculated based on a school’s Achievement—determined by TCAP test results, Growth—determined by Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) test results, and in the case of high school, College and Career Readiness. Each of these areas is weighted to determine its contribution towards the overall letter. Additionally, Growth is represented in two ways—Growth achieved by the overall student population, and Growth25, the growth achieved the lowest 25% of performers.
While Woodland Elementary’s student achievement numbers outperformed the state average in every area, the school received a C letter grade overall due to the weight applied to student growth in the equation.
“While we are happy that our Student Achievement has remained high, we recognized the need to improve our student growth and began implementing new ways of using data from our predictive assessments to make informed decisions that guide our work while providing individualized support and instruction whenever possible,” said Woodland Principal DT Hobby. “Because this year’s score is based on last year’s data, we have already seen improvement from the changes we have made this year and are looking forward to seeing our Growth at the end of the year. As always, we will continue to implement impactful learning strategies in the classroom and will remain diligent in doing what’s best for our students.”
Oak Ridge Schools Letter Grades
About TDOE Letter Grade Rating System
In 2016, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation requiring TDOE to establish a letter-grade (A-F) evaluation system for public schools, however, due to challenges related to state testing and COVID-19, the new accountability system was delayed for several years. Today’s announcement is the first iteration of the new annual “letter grade” assignments, which will be recalculated and released on an annual basis using the most recent testing data. This year’s grade is calculated using the 2022-23 academic year testing data.