Hamilton County Schools students, parents, teachers and administrators have some good news to celebrate today: Standardized test scores improved in all subject areas last year in grades three through eight, data show.
"It's great news," Board of Education Chairman Mike Evatt said Friday about student learning gains for the district as a whole.
In Hamilton County, the percentage of students scoring proficient/advanced climbed 6.9 percent in math compared to last year; 3.9 percent in reading; 4 percent in science; and 1.5 percent in social studies.
State Department of Education officials released results of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, which shows the percentage of students who scored at the below basic, basic, proficient and advanced levels in grades three through eight. High school end-of-course results and Adequate Yearly Progress determinations are not finalized and likely will be made public in the coming weeks, state officials said.
"We must measure our progress by how much our students accomplish, and both educators and the public need timely access to comprehensive student achievement data to accurately measure our progress," Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said about the test results.
Evatt said the rise in overall student performance shows teachers still are successful in the classroom even as the school district trims expenses.
Across the state, Tennessee students scored higher in all subject areas and grade levels in grades three through eight on this year's TCAP tests compared to 2010.
Student math scores statewide grew by 7 percent and reading scores grew by 3.7 percent. The latest results show science scores improved 3.5 percent and social studies scores went up 1.4 percent.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who this year signed education reform legislation that left many educators unhappy, credited much of the 2011 improvement to teachers.
"Tennessee educators deserve immense credit for their hard work this year in helping our students achieve marked improvements and success," he said in a news release. "I'm very encouraged by these latest results, and we're all committed to continuing to work together to improve the classroom experience for every student across the state."
Students take the TCAP tests every spring. Test results are used to quantify how schools and districts fare against federal benchmarks and to help school administrators and teachers improve classroom teaching.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.