Tennessee's Department of Education released a list of some of the state's lowest-performing schools on Wednesday, and it includes a few more schools from our area than in the past.
The list of Priority Schools comes out every three years, and is based on test scores and academic achievement during those three years. They are the ones that score in the bottom five percent in the state.
Three years ago, there was only one priority school in our area-- Sarah Moore Green Elementary.
It is still a Priority School on the new list, along with three other schools in Knox County-- Lonsdale Elementary, Green Magnet Academy, and Vine Middle School.
Superintendent Jim McIntyre says there have already been a lot of recent changes to try to improve those schools, but it was not enough to keep them off the list because it's based on the last three years.
"Clearly these are schools, these are four schools where we have a very strong sense of urgency to improve, to make sure we're focused on high quality instruction, student learning and success, every day in every classroom," said McIntyre.
Those four schools are the only ones in our area to fall in the bottom-five percent. The rest are also concentrated in metropolitan areas. There are five priority schools around Chattanooga, fifteen in the Nashville area, and two in Jackson. The rest, 59 out of 85 Priority Schools in the state, are in Memphis.
Making the list means these schools will also get some additional money. The state invests more at those schools to help get things turned around.
The report also lists a number of Focus Schools, those in the state with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students, such as racial and ethnic groups, students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, students with disabilities and English-language learners. The schools in our area on that list are:
- Alcoa Middle
- Lake City Elementary
- Norris Middle
- Athens Middle
- North City Elementary (Athens)
- Westside Elementary (Athens)
- Springdale Elementary (Claiborne Co)
- Stone Elementary (Cumberland Co)
- The Phoenix School (Cumberland Co)
- Etowah Elementary
- Pine Haven Elementary (Fentress Co)
- Rutledge Elementary
- Baileyton Elementary (Greene Co)
- Doak Elementary (Greene Co)
- Manley Elementary (Hamblen Co)
- Hancock High
- Bonny Kate Elementary (Knox Co)
- Central High
- Chilhowee Intermediate (Knox Co)
- Fountain City Elementary
- Hardin Valley Elementary (Knox Co)
- Mooreland Heights Elementary (Knox Co)
- South-Doyle High
- South-Doyle Middle
- West Hills Elementary
- North Middle (Loudon Co)
- Mountain View Elementary (McMinn Co)
- Rural Vale Elementary (Monroe Co)
- Petros Joyner Elementary (Morgan Co)
- Bowers Elementary (Roane Co)
- Catons Chapel Elementary (Sevier Co)
- Pi Beta Phi Elementary (Sevier Co)
- Pigeon Forge Primary
- Sevierville Intermediate