Nashville Schools Release 2005-2006 Data and Makes Plans for the 2006-2007 School Year

Written by Stacey Andell for Schools K-12

Nashville Schools Did Well Academically in 2005-2006

Nashville Schools have made a lot of progress in the 2005-2006 school year. The Nashville Schools this school year has, in several key areas, had a higher percentage of students meet the required levels of proficiency as determined by the No Child Left Behind Act. This school eighty-six percent of kindergarten to eighth grade students are now proficient or advanced in reading as compared to the required target of eighty-three percent set by the No Child Left Behind Act. Among high school students, overall, sixty-nine percent scored proficient or advanced on the Algebra Gateway test on their first try. The No Child Left Behind Act sets a target of seventy-five percent. Even though this is below the target it is higher than the pervious year’s results.  In mathematics students in kindergarten to eighth grade now ranked as proficient or advanced rose to eighty-one percent. This surpasses the target set by the No Child Left Behind Act of seventy-nine percent.

Nashville Schools Aim to Catch Up with the State Average

Nashville School’s scores are slightly below the Tennessee State average, but have made definite improvement in the school district’s students’ standings. The Tennessee Department of Education has increased the expected performance of students in three or four categories. Low-income students in the Nashville Schools made academic gains. Despite the higher percentage of low-income students in the Nashville Schools, our academic gains are equal to the improvement in more affluent school systems. In an effort to continue the gains made by the urban schools in the Nashville Schools, every Nashville middle school offers high-school-level classes for credit. Students can earn up to five credits before they enter high school. The District’s ACT scores have continued to rise over the last five years. Tennessee Department of Education’s school district rating system rates this progress as “significantly above average.”

The Financial Status of Nashville Schools in 2005-2006

Nashville Schools spent an average of $8,540 per pupil for 70,569 students in grades K-12. This compares well to other school district spending around the country. The National Center of Education Statistics, a service of the U.S. Department of Education allows for comparison of school districts around the country on all manner of factors. The National Center of Education Statistics’ “peer search” automatically chooses nine school districts across the country that match Nashville School’s demographics. Those districts include: Albuquerque, NM; Alief, TX (near Houston), Austin, TX; Omaha, NE; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; Tucson, AZ; and Wichita, KS. The spending was inline with these school districts.  In 2002-03 school year Nashville Schools spent almost exactly the same per-pupil dollars as our peer school districts –and slightly less than the national average.

The Nashville School District Education Board’s plan for the 2006-07 budget will include: A 2% raise for all staff; a more competitive starting salary for teachers; a new call-home phone system to alert parents to unexplained student absences and inclement weather; expansion of the AVID program to all zoned high schools to prepare students to graduate on time with the necessary skills to attend college; opening one new school and moving students at eight sites where renovation is beginning or completed.

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