Opinion: Spinning Hamilton County Schools' TCAP test scores

Teacher Kelsey Cooley helps freshman Samantha Miller with a project during her Algebra I class at Sale Creek Middle/High School. / Staff photo

It's all in the spin.

No matter the results, no matter the mitigating factors, public education officials quite naturally want to put the best face on annual testing data.

The recent release of testing scores under the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) is no different.

A year ago, Hamilton County officials happily pointed out that the district outperformed the state in 24 of 28 tested areas. Earlier this week, school officials noted the district "stayed steady" in terms of proficiency this year while many districts in the state had dips in proficiency.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, Hamilton County outperformed the state overall in 2022 TCAP scores across grades 3-12 in the four core areas of English language arts (by .3%), math (by 1.3%), science (by .2%) and social studies (by .7%).

However,