The Maury County School System has performed below the state average on state assessments in math, English, science, and social studies, according to the Tennessee Department of Education’s website.
This, according to an academic achievement indicator that measures the percentage of students who perform on grade level on state assessments as well as the improvement in this percentage from one year to the next
“A student is considered on grade level if he or she scores on track or mastered on state exams, known as TNReady or TCAP,” according to the TDOE’s website.
“Schools, districts, and the state can perform well on this indicator by having an overall high percentage of students on grade level or a significant increase in this percentage.”
The data below is from the 2017-18 school year for Maury County:
• Overall, 27.5 percent of Maury County students scored on track or mastered on annual state tests compared to the state average of 39.1 percent.
• The mathematics achievement rate for Maury County was 20 percent compared to the state rate of 33 percent.
• The English Language Arts Achievement rate was 23.8 percent compared to 32.8 percent for the state.
• The science achievement rate for the county was 43 percent compared to 54.8 percent for the state.
• The district’s social studies achievement rate was 31.5 percent compared to the state’s rate of 37.7 percent.
Recent Maury County School System graduates also performed below the already poor state averages in a recent Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) study of Tennessee public high school graduates requiring remedial assistance in math and science.
As The Tennessee Star reported last month, THEC released a study of 30,000 2017 Tennessee high school graduates who went on to attend a public college in Tennessee. The study determined that 46 percent of these graduates required remedial work in mathematics, while 30 percent required remedial work in reading. The study defined any student who received an ACT score of 19 or lower as needing remedial assistance.
The 361 Maury County Schools graduates included in that study performed below state averages, with 47.4 percent requiring remedial work in mathematics and 31.8 percent requiring remedial work in reading.
Despite the below state average performance of Maury County Schools in these standardized tests of students, State Rep. Scott Cepicky, who represents Maury County, is on record as supporting only one of Gov. Bill Lee’s proposed education reforms that have the potential to improve education in Maury County through competition.
Cepicky voted yes in an Education Committee vote in favor of Gov. Lee’s charter school reform proposal, but he told The Star last week that he, at the time, was a “no” vote on the governor’s Education Savings Account (ESA) proposal, which comes to a vote in the Education Committee next week.
Maury County Schools spokeswoman Kim Doddridge did not return The Star’s request for comment on the test score results Thursday. She also did not return our request for comment regarding a large Internal Revenue Service fine the county school system must pay.
As reported, the IRA has assessed nearly $400,000 in penalties and interests against the Maury County School Department, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released this week.
The fines and penalties come from 2016 and 2017, according to the audit.
County taxpayers, of course, are the ones who must foot the bill.
In the third quarter of 2016, school system officials paid $70,477 in late penalties plus interest.