In Tennessee, “priority schools” are schools consistently falling in the bottom 5% when it comes to testing.
There are 18 in Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS).
Parent Kimberlee Moore has a kid who is a student at one these schools.
“It makes me really sad to know that I’m sending my daughter to a school that is not preparing her for life,” Moore said.
Results from the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program – also known as TCAP – give us an insight look.
In the most recent results, 74% of Metro Students did not meet and exceed grade level reading expectations.
When it comes to priority schools, that number increases to 94% at Bellshire Elementary and 91% at Jones Elementary.
This leaves only a small percentage of students testing on track and mastering the material.
On Monday, FOX 17 News spoke with Sonya Thomas, Executive Director of Nashville PROPEL. This group is dedicated to equity in schools.
“We want a commitment from them. Make a commitment to us that you will get at least 50% of the students in your elementary school reading on grade level by the end of the school year,” Thomas said.
FOX 17 News reached out to Metro Schools and the district responded with a link to a recent meeting where Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle highlighted an initiative to increase literacy levels and one-on-one learning.
“I want everyone to know and to be clear that the district will work every day to support them, help them to improve their student outcomes and to celebrate them when they come out of priority status,” Dr. Battle said.
But for advocates like Thomas, this issue is alarming.
“We all should be losing sleep about children not being able to read. They have to be able to read, to learn,” Thomas said.
It’s important to note, Metro went from 24 to 18 priority schools since the last time the list came out.
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