Grades are in for Tennessee school districts, with one standing out from others

Newport City School District named “exemplary” by the state for the second-straight year
Newport City School District named “exemplary” by the state for the second-straight year
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Report cards are out, but not for students. The Tennessee Department of Education has released its annual ratings of state school districts.

Newport City School District was named exemplary for the second-straight year, with its students meeting, or exceeding, expectations in math and English standardized tests.

“It makes you feel so proud,” said Sandra Burchette, Director of Newport City School System.

Burchette said there are several things that led to the high marks, like in-person learning since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, as opposed to virtual learning due to the pandemic.

Plus, spending federal money wisely on additional materials and programs.

“Even though we do buy the textbooks,” Burchette said. “But, we really find it really important to buy resources that supplement these textbooks.”

According to state data, nearly 30% of students in the district are economically disadvantaged. Burchette said they have programs in place to make sure those students don’t fall behind.

But not every school in East Tennessee scored that well. The report card, which is based on overall growth from year-to-year, shows that Knox and Sevier County schools need improvements; both ranked in the bottom 5% of scores statewide.

Earlier this year, Superintendent of Knox County Schools Dr. Jon Rysewyk called it, “A moment of reflection and opportunity,” and said that, “our growth scores were not what we want, or expect, them to be.”

Sevier County School System Superintendent Stephanie Huskey said in a statement that she’s proud of the way the district handled learning during the pandemic and that the district will, “focus on the basics so that all of our students can achieve and grow.”

If you’d like to see how other school districts scored, you can go to the Department of Education’s website by clicking here.