Vast Majority of Rutherford Schools Rate High on New State Letter Grade System

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Nearly three-fourths of tested schools in Rutherford County scored either an A or B on a new letter grade ranking system, which was released by the Tennessee Department of Education today.

The Tennessee legislature passed a new law prior to the Covid-19 pandemic which requires the state education department to rank all schools using an A-F letter grade system. Because of the pandemic and issues with the state’s standardized testing system, the new ranking protocol has been delayed until now.

Out of the 48 tested schools that make up the Rutherford County Schools district, 20 received an A; 15 received a B; nine received a C; and four received a D. No Rutherford County schools received an F.

The rankings are based on student and school performance from the 2022-2023 school year.

“We appreciate our schools being recognized, once again, for their high levels of performance,” Director of Schools Dr. Jimmy Sullivan said. “However, we object to the way the system was rolled out without transparency and communication to local school districts. The department did not provide cut scores until after the final results were released to districts a few days ago on Dec. 12.”

Sullivan explained that it would be like playing a football game without knowing the rules and then not finding out whether you won until a year later.

“As Director of Schools, it is my intention to always provide timely and transparent performance data to our employees and our parents. We expect the same level of transparency from the state level so we can ensure we are serving our students and their needs,” Sullivan said.

Regardless, Sullivan and the district’s instructional leaders plan to use the state’s ranking data as one component of school improvement plans to maintain the high expectations he has for all Rutherford County schools.

The ranking for each public school in the state is available on the Tennessee Department of Education’s website.