MNPS announces district academic improvements


Metro Nashville Public Schools are improving, officials said Monday. WSMV's Marissa Sulek reports.
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 5:33 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Nashville Public Schools announced Monday students in the district are improving academically. MNPS says they are now an “advancing” school district. That’s the second highest rating a school system can achieve.

It comes down to last year’s (‘21-’22) TCAP scores. Schools are then broken down into three categories: a reward school, priority school, or a targeted support school.

This year, MNPS says they are seeing a lot more schools in the reward category.

Outside Amqui Elementary in Madison, the sign says it all: “We did it.” But principal Latoya Cobb says it wasn’t easy.

“There were a high number of student discipline incidents when we arrived here,” Cobb said. “So, if students are being suspended or out class, they’re not learning.”

In 2018, Amqui Elementary was listed as a priority school. That means they needed extra support to help students.

“Now they are among the best of the best in Tennessee,” said MNPS Director of Schools, Dr. Adrienne Battle.

For the first time, MNPS has fewer priority schools than the last time the list was run in 2018. Four yeas ago, 24 schools were on the priority list, now that number is down to 18.

“This is no easy feat,” Dr. Battle said. “This means there is significant evidence that our students grew more than was annually expected over the course of last year.”

That evidence contains higher TCAP scores, less absences, and higher graduation rates.

“The key was for our teachers and staff to know and understand the students that they served,” Cobb said. “As a result, they were able to strengthen their relationships, so students were in class learning.”

“This is a great start but let’s keep the momentum,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said Monday.

Cooper also credits these improvements to the treatment of MNPS staff. He says overall they were treated and paid better. For the first time, they offered paid family leave for all MNPS employees. Also, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers saw significant raises.

“These pay raises were overdue and needed,” Cooper said. “How could you run a successful school system without that?”

Below priority schools are “targeted support” schools; nine MNPS schools fall in that category.