For the first time in six years, Nashville’s public school district has met the requirements of federal No Child Left Behind laws.
The Tennessee Department of Education has announced that Metro Nashville Public Schools has fulfilled the requirements of Adequate Yearly Progress. The district has met academic requirements that were failed last year, and averted a set of serious consequences that would have resulted if MNPS had failed.
If AYP had not been met, the DOE would have had the authority to remove individual school board members as well as Director of Schools Jesse Register.
State officials said this morning that Metro Schools reached "improving status" during an appeals process. MNPS has met requirements for Safe Harbor under NCLB — this means that though Metro scores did not reach all required benchmarks, sufficient improvement was demonstrated.
This is the first year MNPS has been eligible for Safe Harbor, state officials say.
The positive results are for MNPS, as an entire district. For the complete information released to media by the DOE, including school-by-school data, click here.
Prior to today, MNPS has officially been considered in “Restructuring I” status under NCLB, indicating five years of failed benchmarks. Nashville’s public school district now is in “Improving” status, having met AYP.
The good news spells cause for celebration for the many people in Nashville who have worked hard to foster improvement in public schools. Register will meet with members of the press early this afternoon, and Mayor Karl Dean is expected to make a statement as well.
Though the results are positive, school improvement work is not expected to slow. State standards for all Tennessee students will be ramped up this fall, and officials expect NCLB troubles for schools and districts statewide.
And while many may interpret the results as indicative of the work of relatively new district leader Register, who took over the helm MNPS Jan. 15, the positive NCLB results have likely been longer in the making. Officials with both the state and the district have stated repeatedly that it takes multiple years for system-wide change to take place. Big reforms at MNPS have been in progress for the last few years, which have included a DOE-led restructuring of much of the MNPS central office last summer.
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