TDOE releases state report card with limited data

The Tennessee Department of Education released its state report card this week, but noted the report card is effected by a lack of information and data.

That lack of information has made the Hamblen County school superintendent ask why the state even bothered to put out a report card in the first place.

“This year because there’s such a lack of data because of the virus, I don’t even know why they went to the expense,” said Dr. Jeff Perry, Hamblen County school superintendent.

The state posted a “newly designed” state report card on Monday.

But there are only two performance metrics that users can view for school districts – the graduation rate over the last three years and how graduate ready students were over the last three years when they left school.

Other performance metrics that have been used in the past are absent because the Tennessee General Assembly and the U.S. Department of Education waived several of these requirements for the 2019-2020 school year as several schools closed due to COVID-19.

In a press release, the Tennessee Department of Education said they hoped parents will still be able to get some value out of the report card.

“While we know the coronavirus has limited the data available to highlight on this year’s report, we hope this data will be useful for Tennessee families, educators, community members, and public officials with information about schools and districts as they work to provide a high-quality education for all our students,” said Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “The department is excited to unveil exciting new improvements and features included in this year’s State Report Card, which will enhance the user experience and make this tool more accessible for years to come.”

There’s several limitations with the report card, though.

Performance indicators for academic achievement, student growth and absenteeism are not listed on the site.

The state said that it hopes to place up those scores for previous school years in the next few months, but it would not include the 2019-2020 school year.

For specific schools, the data is severely limited with school enrollment being the only information available.