Knox Schools Chief Wrong to be Excited About 52% Proficiency

July 31, 2012

Recently the statewide assessment scores, known as TCAP, were released and the Knox school district did see overall improvement.  We are glad to see scores moving in the right direction.

Yet, while improving scores is a positive step it was absolutely irresponsible for school Superintendent Jim McIntyre to announce on a local radio interview that he was ‘excited’ about the progress being made.

While progress is being made, the fact remains 43% of Knox County students are below proficient in reading and 48% score below proficiency in math.

Science and Social Studies rate noticeably better with only 35% and 15% rated below proficient, respectively.

Superintendent McIntyre should not be patting the district on the back when 2-out-of-5 students cannot read at their grade level.

In the 2011-2012 school year Knox County schools spent $391 million.  The Superintendent  himself hauled in a salary just north of $247,000.  With that kind of spending taxpayers can expect greater than 52% proficiency ratings.

Let’s be clear: we want Superintendent McIntyre and Knox County Schools to succeed.  We are pleased to see scores improve.

Yet, 52% proficiency should be sending alarm bells.  The Superintendent should not say he is ‘excited’ about the progress, not when thousands of students are below academic standards.

It’s about setting excpectations.  And 52% is simply a number no one should be pleased with.


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