Monday 29th November 2021

District Assessment Results Show Learning Loss Less Significant than State

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A review of TNReady assessment data has revealed statewide declines in achievement from 2018-2021. Like most other districts, Jackson-Madison County Schools struggled academically; however, the loss in learning has been less significant than that of the state.


Achievement  18-19 20-21 -/+ 18-19 20-21 -/+
All Subjects 20.7% 13.9% -6.8% 36.4% 27.8% -8.6%
ELA 20.7% 17.9% -2.8% 34.9% 29.8% -5.1%
Math 20.3% 10.1% -10.2% 37.0% 25.9% -11.1%
Science ** 20.0% N/A ** 38.3% N/A
Social Studies 20.4% 14.8% -5.6% 38.7% 36.7% -2.0%


The general process of testing has been a challenge for students, teachers, and administrators with changes and disruptions over the past several years. Beginning in 2014, Governor Bill Haslam announced a public review process for Tennessee’s academic standards, which were codified in 2015-16. Then, in 2016, the State Board of Education approved more rigorous student performance categories for TNReady. New standards for both English language arts and math were implemented for the 2017-2018 school year.

The 2018 TNReady test was interrupted due to widespread technical difficulties including login delays, slow servers, and software bugs which led to the majority of 2019 testing to return to paper and pencil and more new standards for science. In 2020, Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill waiving TNReady and end-of-course requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Middle Tennessee tornado outbreak.

“If you consider the challenging context in which these assessments occurred with statewide testing difficulties, new academic standards, and the ongoing pandemic, there is certainly merit for optimism as we fared better than the state’s rate of academic decline. We will continue to identify strategies to improve student achievement,” Deputy Superintendent Dr. Vivian Williams said.


Additional Metrics   18-19 20-21 -/+ 18-19 20-21 -/+
Chronically Out of School 19.5% 25.1% -6.8% 12.5% 15.5% -3.0%
Progress on Eng. Lang. Proficiency 47.9% 26.3% -21.6% 49.8% 25.8% -24.0%
Ready Graduate 22.6% 32.9% +10.2% 40.3% 40.5% +0.2%
Graduation Rate 84.9% 88.1% +3.2% 89.1% 89.6% +0.5%

When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, teaching and learning took on a variation of forms for JMCSS. The 2020-2021 year began with a delayed start and moved into a hybrid model in the fall. In-person learning in a safe environment was the goal, so student learning was shifted to four days per week in-person in February 2021. Learning Loss Summer Camp saw over 3,000 students enrolled to combat gaps in learning. Although absenteeism has been a concern at multiple schools, JMCSS students outperformed the state’s requirements for TNReady. JMCSS participated in testing at a rate of 94.5%, surpassing the state’s target rate of 80% by 14.5%.

“Our school administrators and teachers are to be commended for valuing these assessment opportunities and completing the difficult task of getting students to return to campus when hybrid schedules and Covid-19 measures made it difficult,” stated Superintendent Dr. Marlon King.  “We must be thorough, at the district level, in examining test results to respond with academic support tailored to each student.”

“If you look at the data in full context, it’s clear to see that conditions are favorable for sharp academic improvements in this system. Ongoing high-quality professional development coupled with new investments to strengthen recruitment, and develop a teacher pipeline, will go a long way toward increasing student achievement and improving our national ranking,” Dr. King said.

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