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School system’s Algebra II, Biology gains lead region

Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 9:00 am

Moore County schools continue to make gains on their counterparts and have shown significant improvement in a number of areas according to Director of Schools Chad Moorehead.

At the Metropolitan Lynchburg Moore County Council meeting Monday night, Moorehead shared a state-generated report with council members that showed marked improvement in both Algebra II and Language Arts and received high marks in Biology. The biggest improvement came in Algebra II, where Moore County’s improvement rate was 44.6 percent, compared to a combined 9 percent gain from the rest of the 15 districts in the South Central Region.

Along with Moore County, those districts include Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Lincoln, Hickman, Maury, Marshall, Perry, Lewis, Wayne, Lawrence and Giles counties, as well as Fayetteville, Manchester and Tullahoma city schools. Moore County ranked first overall among this group in Algebra II improvement from 2013 to 2014.

“Of course we had a lot of room for improvement there, but for a teacher to turn it around that quickly is very good,” said Moorehead. “We were able to identify a problem and with a new teacher we were able to find (a solution).”

Moore County ranked first in improvement in Biology too.

Moore County also ranked third in overall combined success rate, with only Lincoln County and Lawrence County school systems ranking higher. Moore County’s combined overall change from 2013 to 2014 was 4.1 percent. The rest of the region had an overall change of plus .2 percent. Since 2012, the school system here has marked overall improvement of 3.6 percent.

“There are some good things going on in our school system,” added Moorehead.

According to the report, in 2013 Moore County’s overall combined rank place the system seventh among the South Central Region. This year Moore County is third overall and first in gain. Of the 140 school districts in the state, Moore County’s improvement rate was first in both Algebra II and Biology.

“Our teachers and our students are getting some attention due to this data and it’s well deserved,” Moorehead said.

In the math accountability data, only seventh-grade math and Algebra I were below the target level. Third through eighth-grade math and Algebra II were above the target level.

In Reading and Language Arts, Moore County was ahead of target at the seventh-grade level, third through eighth grade and English II. Both third grade and English III were just below target levels and third grade was the only group that showed a decline from last year, though that was just .1 percent. Compared to the rest of the region, Moore County schools had the highest marks of improvement across the board.

Based on the data provided, two-thirds of Moore County’s teachers earned a Level 3 score or above. Twenty-eight percent were in Level 3, 9 percent were in Level 4 and 27 percent were in Level 5, which is the highest level.

“We met 9 of 11 of the measurable objectives,” said Moorehead, “and in most areas we are outperforming.”

—ROBERT HOLMAN, Editor & Publisher