Hillcrest High School in Memphis achieved Level 4 scores in the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) for the first time. When Hillcrest was identified as a priority school by state assessments, the school was placed into the state’s Achievement School District (ASD), who invited Green Dot Public Schools to lead the transformation effort.
This is the first time that the Memphis school scores this achievement, which measures student growth year over year by comparing their performance to those of their peers on previous state assessments. TVAAS academic growth for districts and schools using a range from Level 1 to Level 5. The subjects include literacy, numeracy, and overall.
Hillcrest had spent many years as a Level 1 school. The score of 4 collectively reflects strong student outcomes driven by the structural support systems that Green Dot implements on its campuses. Rigorous, college-prep-focused, academic programs combined with small class sizes have resulted in stronger performances by students on assessments as well as higher retention rates.
“Green Dot Public Schools TN cannot begin to express the immense appreciation we have for the hard work and dedication of the Hillcrest High School teachers, students, and administration in earning a TVAAS level 4. We will continue building on the systems that led to this growth and look forward to more academic success,” said Jocquell Rodgers, Executive Director of Green Dot Tennessee.
Hillcrest High School is one of five schools operated by Green Dot, since 2014 when it first received authorization from the Achievement School District to turn around several local middle and high schools. Fairley High School as well as Kirby and Wooddale Middle Schools are also ASD schools, and join independent charter Bluff City High School to form the Green Dot network in Memphis.
“We are proud of the TVAAS results and celebrate the students’ accomplishments with this recognition. It shows how hard our students worked to take us to this level and the big investment our teachers and staff have made in them. We will continue to work hard to take Hillcrest High to a higher level,” added Teddrick Estes, Hillcrest High’s principal.
Wooddale also had a bright academic year, reaching a Level 5 score. TVAAS measures student growth year over year, regardless of whether the student is proficient on the state assessment. In calculating a TVAAS score, a student’s performance is compared relative to the performance of his or her peers who have performed similarly on past assessments.
The achievement caps an outstanding year for Green Dot. Earlier in the year, Middle Schools outperformed results from last year’s midterm iReady exams by double digits. Since the 2018-2019 school year, the percentage of all students in GDPST meeting their Typical Growth Goal has increased, reaching 59% in Reading and 54% in Math.
Given that many of Green Dot’s students enter several grade levels below in reading and math, focusing on how students are catching up and closing the gap in academic performance relative to their starting point is vital. Green Dot doesn’t rely on using test scores alone to measure student success because it does not necessarily account for the progress and student makes to get from point A to point B.