A Bold Vision for Our Future Workforce - Chattanooga 2.0 Growing Workforce Talent
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CH AT TA N OO G A 2 . 0 : A B OL D V I S I ON F OR H A M I LTO N C O U N TY’S WO R K F O R C E TA LE N T Hamilton County has heavily invested in bringing attractive jobs to the community, and that investment is paying off. 7 A N E W K I N D O F J O B G R OWT H . 8 TA K I N G ADVANTAG E O F O P P O R T U N I T Y. 8 The majority of Hamilton County residents do not have the level of education required by the industries growing in the area. 9 O P P O R TU N I T I E S F O R O PT I M I S M . 10 Hamilton County is falling behind its peers and the state on a number of educational outcomes. 12 E L E M E N TARY S C H O O LS : STAG NANT F O U N DAT I O N S . 15 M I D D L E S C H O O LS: LO S I N G M O M E NTU M. 16 H I G H S C H O O LS: LO S I N G G R O U N D. 19 G R A D UATI O N R AT E S : M I LLI O N S I N LO ST WAG E S . 20 O P P O RT U N I T I E S F O R O PT I M I S M . 23 Not only are Hamilton County Schools falling behind, but students also lack equal access to good schools. 23 U N E Q UAL AC C E S S TO E D U CATI O N B EYO N D H I G H S C H O O L. 24 T H E I Z O N E E XAM P LE . 26 O P P O R TU N I T I E S F O R O PT I M I S M . 28 Despite enrolling in colleges and technical schools, high school graduates in Hamilton County are not attaining advanced education. 32 P O STS E C O N DARY G R AD UAT I O N: LO S I N G TALE NT. 33 2015 - 2 0 1 6 O P P O R TU N I T I E S F O R O PT I M I S M . 3 8 LEAD R E S E ARC H E R LU K E KO H L M O O S To take advantage of economic growth, Hamilton County must R E S E ARC H E R work to increase educational attainment by improving K-12 C O U R T N E Y S E I LE R outcomes and postsecondary completion. 41 E DITO R JAR E D T. B I G H A M The life of a student is the pathway to success. 42
Chattanooga is now one of the best places in America to live, work and start a business, and the jobs are arriving. H A M I LT O N C O U N T Y PROJEC TED JOB GROW TH 18% 16% 14% 12% 10% PA S T G R O W T H 8% Volkswagen Expansion 6% 7,000 jobs: the 4% difference between 2% sustaining growth and returning to solid but 0% slow growth. 2009 2014 2020 2025 2
Building the Smartest Community in the South E X E C U T IV E S U M MARY The Chattanooga region’s economy is growing in ways that would have been unimaginable 30 years ago. We are Chattanooga/Hamilton County has become one of the most experiencing unprecedented job growth, especially in higher- innovative and economically promising places in America for wage industries such as advanced manufacturing, logistics, new job creation and business investment. In just the past healthcare, insurance and technology. In fact, Chattanooga five years, Hamilton County has added jobs at a higher rate is one of the top 10 metro areas in the country for growing than Tennessee as a whole, trailing only Nashville among the advanced industries, having added more than 12,000 of these major metro areas in terms of job growth in the state. high-paying jobs since 2010, and that number is expected to We are nearing 30 years of an incredible renaissance, which quadruple in the next five years. has propelled Chattanooga to the forefront as a vibrant These recent job gains present a critical opportunity to boost and livable community. Our thriving downtown, revitalized our standard of living and raise family incomes throughout the neighborhoods, world-class waterfront and public spaces, and county. However, despite Chattanooga’s enormous economic gigabit internet infrastructure are the hallmark successes of potential, the region currently lacks the workforce required to a community that has pulled together and worked tirelessly sustain our success. In the coming years, over 80 percent of to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. And jobs paying a living wage ($35,000) in our area will require the efforts and investments in rebuilding our community’s a postsecondary certificate or degree, but currently, just 35 infrastructure and amenities have paid off. percent of students in Hamilton County are likely to obtain this required level of education. 3
In the coming years, over 80% of jobs paying a living annual wage ($35,000) in our area will require a degree or certificate after high school. Though our community has overcome huge challenges and be temporary, as companies struggle to find outside talent made incredible progress, our commitment to education and that can fill their jobs, which means our region loses its opportunity has not kept pace and, as a consequence, we competitive advantage. are facing some sobering statistics: But, despite the current challenges, there are many reasons • 4 out of 10 students in our county live in poverty, which to believe that our community is equipped with the assets, presents major barriers for academic success. experience and will to dramatically improve our educational system for all children. • Less than half of children entering Kindergarten are “ready to learn.” When it comes to public education, there are many talented and dedicated teachers, principals, educators and higher • Nearly 60 percent of all 3rd graders do not read on education leaders in our community who are working hard grade level. to make a difference. While there is no silver bullet or • Hamilton County schools have fallen further behind the clear path to transforming education, we can build off of state and other metro areas in every single high school the successes and lessons learned from great efforts both test and on average ACT scores. locally and from across the country. There are some things • On the recent state report card, Hamilton County that we know have the potential to make a big difference, schools trailed the state’s other major metro areas including: great teaching and leadership, ensuring strong in academic growth. foundations in early learning, building better college and career connections, creating postsecondary supports, and • Only 24 percent of Chattanooga State students and aligning education for the 21st century. 51 percent of UTC students graduate with a degree Going forward, we know the most successful communities within six years. will be those that ensure their residents are equipped with • 15,000 existing jobs in Hamilton County are not filled by the skills to be successful in the new high-tech, digitally- Hamilton County residents due to lack of training, skills driven, knowledge-based economy. and education. Imagine Chattanooga as a place that provides a great public In short, Chattanooga is on a risky trajectory. If we do education and pathways to promising careers for every child not act now to promote new approaches and make smart in our community. Imagine Chattanooga as “The Smartest investments to improve educational outcomes for students, Community in the South.” By committing to the bold—but the majority of our residents will not be able to benefit from attainable—goal of having 75 percent of Hamilton County the recent influx of jobs that has been the result of years of residents earn a postsecondary certification, we will improve hard work and investment. Ultimately, we run the risk that the quality of life for all residents. the economic boost we are currently experiencing will only 1 http://www.governing.com/gov-institute/col-santa-monica-chattanooga-sustainability-economics-environment.html
AC H I EVI N G A 75 % P OS T S EC ON DARY AT TA I N M E NT W I LL M E A N: • 100,000 more local residents with access to jobs that pay over $35,000 • $4,500 average raise for every adult worker in Hamilton County • $1.1 billion more in total wages in our county every year • 8,000 adults brought out of poverty This report is intended to serve as the baseline—the starting point for a community-wide push to ensure that Chattanooga is able to sustain and build upon the success we’ve created together over the past three decades. The information found within these pages provides a better understanding of the challenge, and recognition that it will take community-wide effort and commitment to implement the bold and transformative solutions that are needed. Who has a role to play? We all do. The data tells a sobering story in some areas, but it also highlights a definitive moment in time where community partnerships, monetary resources, and focused strategies can be rallied to propel Chattanooga forward. For some individual leaders and organizations, Chattanooga 2.0 may bring only a willingness to embrace the challenges and endorse the opportunities found in this report. For others, Chattanooga 2.0 creates a chance for organizations and individuals to create much more meaningful community and neighborhood conversations towards bold and actionable steps. For others, it may mean simply moving past what is clearly not working and devoting significantly more time, energy and resources into new strategies and partnerships in a unified approach that clearly draws a definitive line in the sand that the status quo is unacceptable, if we are going to prepare and support our community for the jobs of the future. Our community has faced and overcome tough challenges before. We have always pulled together to make sure the foundations and infrastructure are in place for a thriving city. Now it is time to invest in our people, ensuring greater opportunity for every neighborhood, and for all of our residents to help drive our community’s future. If we want Chattanooga to sustain its economic success and improved quality of life, now is the time to set a bold vision for the future of Chattanooga and work together to make it a reality. D I D YO U K N O W ? B U T W E H AV E M U C H M O R E W O R K T O D O… • Nearly 10,000 new jobs will arrive in Hamilton County • 15,000 existing jobs in Hamilton County are not filled by over the next few years as a result of our rapid expansion Hamilton County residents due to lack of training, skills in automotive manufacturing and other advanced and education. industries. • A black child in Hamilton County is 33 times more likely • Hamilton County is experiencing the fastest job growth than a white child to attend one of the lowest performing in the area thanks to fast growing sectors in logistics, schools in the state. healthcare, insurance, advanced manufacturing, and • Only 24 percent of Chattanooga State students and 51 technology. percent of UTC students graduate with a degree within six • Chattanooga ranked 1st on Outside Magazine’s 2015 list years. of ‘Best Cities to Live’. • Hamilton County schools have fallen further behind the • Chattanooga ranked 4th on WalletHub’s 2015 list of state in every single high school test since 2012. ‘Best Cities to Start a Business.’ • Hamilton County schools already outperform the state on math in grades three-five. 5
Pulling together to ensure that 75% of Hamilton County residents hold an industry certification, two-year degree, or four-year degree by 2025. 6
Building Opportunities: Sharing the Success of Our Growing Economy HAM I LTON C OU NT Y HAS H EAVI LY I NVE STE D I N B R I NG I NG N EW AN D B ET TE R JOB S TO TH E C OM M U N IT Y, AN D THAT I NVE STM E NT I S PAYI NG OF F. Hamilton County, home of Chattanooga, has pushed its way to the forefront of innovative and economically promising places in the United States. With a history of revitalization and renewal, Chattanooga is no stranger to being the underdog. In the late 1960s, the federal government declared the city’s air the dirtiest in the nation, perpetuating a narrative of Chattanooga as America’s dirtiest city. What followed was an aggressive cleanup effort and a successful bid to rebrand Chattanooga as “the Scenic City of the South.” In recent decades, the public, private, and philanthropic sectors in the region have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to revitalize the city’s riverfront and reorient its economy around tourism and clean, high-tech industry to improve the city’s overall quality of life. When it comes to reimagining its future and then going to work to get it done, no community in the South has been more successful than Chattanooga. From revitalizing our downtown—to introducing America to the power and potential that comes with ultra-high speed internet—Chattanooga has turned its downtown from a ghost town into a boom town—and the physical changes in the city have been constant and impressive. These efforts and investments in rebuilding the city’s infrastructure and amenities have paid off. Chattanooga is now one of the best places in America to live, work and start a business, and the jobs are arriving. O U R G OA LS W O R K F O R C E R E A DY • 100,000 more residents with jobs that make over $35,000 • 65% of jobs in Hamilton County jobs held by Hamilton County residents P O S T S E C O N D A RY C O M P L E T I O N • 90% of high school grads enrolling in a postsecondary institution • 80% six-year graduation rate with postsecondary degrees or certificates P O S T S E C O N D A RY R E A D I N E S S • Hamilton County ACT average surpasses the state • 1,000 summer jobs and internships for HS students SCHOOL SUCCESS • 75% of students on grade level in math by 8th grade • 100% of students with career exploration portfolios 3 R D G R A D E F O U N D AT I O N S • 90% of students reading on grade level by 3rd grade SCHOOL READINESS • 100% of students with access to Pre-K programming • 1,000 new Pre-K seats 7
A N EW K I N D OF JOB G ROW TH Over the past 5 years, W H AT D O E S ‘A D VA N C E D I N D U S T R I E S ’ M E A N ? Jobs in advanced industries vary, but some of the common jobs in this category are: Hamilton County has added jobs at a higher • Aerospace manufacturing • Pharmaceutical and medicine production • Semiconductor manufacturing rate than Tennessee • • Computer systems design Software publishing as a whole, trailing • Automotive manufacturing only Nashville among • Scientific research and development the major metro areas • Wireless telecommunications in terms of job growth in the state. 6.6% These new jobs are the types of jobs that will change the AU S TI N , T X 12.1% trajectory of Hamilton County’s economic future. Chattanooga is now one of the top 10 metro areas in the country for growing 4.2% advanced industries, adding more than 12,000 advanced C H A R LE S TO N , SC 10.5% industries jobs since 2010. This growth in advanced industries accounts for almost all of the new jobs Hamilton County has 4.9% C H A R LOT TE , N C gained over the past five years. 8.9% Advanced industries have grown in Hamilton County primarily 6.4% due to auto manufacturing, but the growth seen up to this point C H AT TA N OOG A , TN 7.3% is only the beginning. Automotive expansions already announced should add more than 2,000 new jobs, which should spur the 1.2% creation of another nearly 8,000 related jobs, on top of the G R E E N S BO RO, N C 7.7% region’s projected job growth unrelated to these expansions. To put this in perspective, this job influx over the next five 0.9% years should yield nearly four times the number of new jobs as K N OX V I LLE , TN 9.4% were created in the county during the past five years. 7.6% LO U I SV I LLE , K Y 8.6% TAK I N G ADVAN TAG E OF OP P ORT U N IT Y In addition to job creation gains in automotive manufacturing, N A S H V I LLE , TN 8.5% other advanced industries will also have opportunities to grow 8.1% in Hamilton County. In other fast-growing cities, advanced industries represent a growing and larger share of total jobs, R A LE I G H , N C 5.2% and Hamilton County is now catching up on this trend. 11.7% For Hamilton County residents, this potential growth in advanced industries represents an unparalleled economic P E R C E N T G R O W T H I N A D VA N C E D I N D U S T R I E S E M P LOY M E N T A D VA N C E D I N D U S T R I E S S H A R E O F TO TA L J O B S opportunity. Workers in advanced industries earn, on average, over $20,000 more per year than other workers in the metro area. 2 Based on the gap between education requirements of currently posted jobs and current education attainment of Hamilton Co. residents, applied to entire county economy
The potential of adding thousands of these high-paying jobs seen is whether Hamilton County will be able to sustain its to Hamilton County could change the trajectory of the county position as a high-growth business destination. and the lives of its residents. However, what remains to be Workers in advanced industries earn, on average, over $20,000 more per year than other workers in the metro area. As noted previously, 15,000 existing jobs in Hamilton County FIGURE 4 are not filled by Hamilton County residents due to lack of training, skills and education. This also mirrors what local PROJECTED HAMILTON COUNTY JOB GROWTH employers are reporting in that they are having a hard time recruiting employees. 14000 The result? Only 56 percent of Hamilton County jobs are held by Hamilton residents. In short, the jobs are here, but the 10500 workforce pool is not currently available to fill them. Two-thirds of current job postings in the automotive 7000 manufacturing sector explicitly require some form of postsecondary credential. And since half of all advanced industry jobs require a bachelor’s degree, and the rest often 3500 require industry certification or other training after high school, Chattanooga’s aspiring workforce clearly needs more education and preparation. 0 JOB GROWTH Educational attainment is also important outside of the advanced industries. The top ten employers in Hamilton County include insurance companies, healthcare companies, One of the biggest determinations will be whether and government, and, of these employers, 55 percent of Chattanooga/Hamilton County can meet the workforce currently posted jobs require some form of postsecondary demands these advanced industries present. education. (If job postings that do not include their education But the majority of Hamilton County residents do not have the requirements are excluded, the number jumps to 74 percent.) level of education required by the advanced industries now For residents who want employment that delivers not just growing in the area. earnings but prosperity, postsecondary education is even Only 38 percent of Hamilton County residents have some more important. Currently, 83 percent of posted jobs in type of postsecondary credential. While in the past, this level Hamilton County that pay $35,000 or more require a of educational attainment was adequate, the demands of postsecondary credential, and the high rate of demand for Chattanooga’s growing economy, especially in advanced postsecondary education is found in similar fast-growing cities industries, require many more skills and more education. throughout the country. P E R C E N T O F J O B S P O S T E D T H AT PAY OV E R $ 3 5 , 0 0 0 A N D R E Q U I R E A P O S T S E C O N D A RY C R E D E N T I A L 3 82% 75% 73% 82% 83% LO U I S V I L L E , K Y GREENSBORO, NC NASHVILLE, TN AU S T I N , T X C H AT TA N O O G A , T N 3 U.S. Census Bureau, OnTheMap Application and LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (Beginning of Quarter Employment, 2nd Quarter of 2002-2012).
Better skills and higher levels of education means OPPORTUNITIES FOR OPTIMISM • An estimated 17,000 Hamilton better jobs and higher County residents aged 18-24, or incomes for local residents: 52 percent, have completed some college or technical training after high school. Helping this generation of postsecondary students to FIGURE 7 complete credentials will ensure they are better prepared for MEDIAN PERSONAL INCOME IN HAMILTON COUNTY employment. $70,000 • Hamilton County appears to be facing the same talent gap as the rest of the United States, where $52,500 54 percent of employers report difficulty finding employees with the right skills. But solving this gap is what can set Hamilton County $35,000 apart from its peers and deliver sustainable prosperity to its citizens. $17,500 • Fulfilling the need for more education is not just about helping residents pursue their individual 00 prosperity. Increasing the number of S LE O H O A IN S O S B G college graduates has been shown C O C T S D A IG R R S OL H S U C A M IA R H S H D E T Y to have a positive effect on wages E U TH DI S C E’ C LO A C O S E A L H TE LL D R R for all workers. For every percent N O O 'S P O D E E TIF H MA G G I E L IG D G E R C increase in workers who have a D E H R G IP E R LO E E four-year degree in a community, E A E M E T A wages increase for all workers by IO an average of one percent. N Higher levels of education lead to higher median incomes. And Although lower paying jobs remain for those with limited there is compelling evidence that tangible associate’s degrees education, these jobs are also the ones most at risk in the and industry certifications provide much greater value than just years ahead. In fact, the top 10 occupations projected to some college without a credential. In fact, going to college for decline the fastest in Hamilton County over the next 10 years a few semesters without attaining any credential has actually are those that require only a high school diploma or less. been shown to add close to zero value over a high school Building a more skilled workforce is a complex effort that diploma, again demonstrating the value of not just entering a requires the cooperation of many. However, one thing is clear: postsecondary institution, but actually completing a program. as new, high-paying jobs arrive in Hamilton County, they can only be filled by people with industry certifications, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. 4 https://www.aei.org/publication/big-payoff-low-probability/
The Challenge: Strengthening the Pathways to Career Success C HAT TA N O O GA/ H AM I LTON C OU N T Y I S FALLI N G B E H I N D OTH E R M ETRO A R E A S I N T H E S TAT E ON A N U M B E R OF E D UCATION AL OUTC OM E S. While Chattanooga/Hamilton County has created new and East Ridge Middle, where, despite serving populations of over 85 unprecedented career opportunities for more of our citizens, our percent economically-disadvantaged children, student learning educational system is not keeping up. is consistently outpacing the state. Other schools, like CSAS and CGLA, also exceeded student success and growth expectations • Hamilton County is falling behind the state in several for 2014-15. educational benchmarks, including literacy, math and ACT scores. These bright spots provide hope. They show that in Hamilton County, there are great teachers, committed families, and a • On the recent state report card, Hamilton County schools supportive community, and when we all work in concert, there trailed the state’s other major metro areas in academic growth. can be exceptional outcomes for our students. We have an • Just 35 percent of high school graduates are likely to complete opportunity to learn from the great examples in these and other any postsecondary credential. schools and to build on their success throughout the system. • Based on student growth, less than half of teachers in However, much more work needs to be done, and greater progress across the district must happen soon, or too many Hamilton County were rated as “Above Expectations” last year, students will not be prepared to be the future workers we will and the percentage of “Above Expectations” teachers in high- need to meet the needs of our employers and to help propel the poverty schools was just 30 percent. community forward. But, despite these troubling statistics, there are also reasons for It is clear that students face barriers to success throughout their optimism that indicate progress and the reversal of recent trends education and that we must work to strengthen our educational may be around the corner. pipeline from cradle to career, if we want to ensure opportunity for Schools like East Side Elementary, Rivermont Elementary and all students. U N DE R STA N D I NG S CHO OL P E R F OR MA NC E : AC H I E V E M E NT V S . G R OW TH • Throughout this report, you will find a number of metrics related to school performance. There are two main ways to measure school performance based on testing data: student achievement and student growth. • Student achievement measures a student’s performance on a test at a single point in time and compares that performance to a set standard. Student growth measures a student’s progress between two points in time and compares performance to his/ her own prior performance. • Student achievement and growth are not necessarily linked. A school can have high student achievement without seeing student growth. Conversely, a school can help students learn and progress and show high student growth, but still have relatively low student achievement if those students started out further behind. 12
FIGURE 8 PERCENT OF 3-4 YEAR OLDS ENROLLED IN SCHOOL 70% 63% 61% 61% 58% 54% 54% 55% 51% 52% 53% 46% 47% 44% 45% 45% 43% 41% 35% 18% 0% C C S S N C M D A W A M M B S N O H E A H A U TL O A E E IN IL IA A A TR W LT N A S A S LU S S W A M N TT H TI TT R TO H F N Y O E M A LO I V LA N IN R LE TA A A O IT U IL N B A N P R K G TT K U LE N O O K E E TO S C E O LI E C IS N G S IT C A /S D Y O .C T. . P A U L K I N D E R G A R T E N R EADI N E S S : ST U D E N T S A R R I V E W I TH DI F F E R E N T LEVE LS OF P R E PARATION Learning is critical for students even before their first day of nearly a third are severely behind and at risk for never being school. Many of the struggles that present themselves later able to catch up without intensive intervention. in a student’s education experience can be traced back to The different levels of Pre-Kindergarten preparation vary challenges that began in the early childhood years. greatly by school and emphasize the negative impact that concentrated poverty has on schools. For example, 16 In Hamilton County, just 43 percent of 3 and public schools in Hamilton County have fewer than 20 4 year-olds are enrolled in early childhood percent of students deemed at risk, while 12 schools have learning programs. greater than 60 percent of students at risk. The elementary This lack of early learning and enrollment is directly reflected schools within the feeder pattern of The Howard School, in in the following years, where preliminary data suggests that particular, face a challenge, with three elementary schools six out of ten students who arrive in Kindergarten in Hamilton serving over 80 percent of students at risk for not being County schools are at risk for not being ready to learn, and ready to learn in Kindergarten. 13
E LE M E N TA RY S CH O OLS : S TAG NAN T FOU N DATION S I N LITE RACY Success in elementary schools lays the foundation stagnant on literacy over the past several years, with only 43 for middle and high schools and allows middle and percent of students in grades 3-5 performing on grade level in high schools to focus on accelerating students toward the most recent school year, slightly trailing the state. opportunities after high school, rather than devoting precious resources to remediation and playing catch up. This includes four elementary schools where fewer than one in Yet, in the early grades, Hamilton County has remained largely five students are reading on grade level. FIGURE 9 PERCENT OF STUDENTS SCORING “PROFICIENT” AND “ADVANCED” IN 3-5 LITERACY Research has 100% FIGURE 9 PERCENT OF STUDENTS SCORING “PROFICIENT” AND “ADVANCED” IN 3-5 LITERACY shown that 100% students who 75% are not reading 75% 50.2% 50.5% on grade level 50% 48.0% 48.4% 46.7% 46.7% 45.9% 42.9% by third grade 50.2% 50.5% 48.4% 50% 48.0% 46.7% 46.7% 45.9% 42.9% 25% will struggle for 2012 2013 2014 2015 the rest of their 25% 2012 2013 2014 2015 academic careers. HAMILTON COUNTY STATE HAMILTON COUNTY STATE In fact, results of a longitudinal study of nearly 4,000 students However, math is a strong point in our local elementary found that those who do not read proficiently by third grade schools. Hamilton County outperforms the state in elementary are four times more likely than proficient readers to leave math. If such performance in early grades’ math can be school without a high school diploma, and for the worst sustained, we should see the secondary math deficit in the readers, the drop out rate is nearly six times greater. These low county begin to close. literacy students represent more than three-fifths of those who eventually drop out or fail to graduate on time. 15
54.7% 50.8% 55.3% 50.5% 55% 50.8% 50.5% FIGURE 10 2012 2013 2014 2012 2013 2014 2015 PERCENT OF STUDENTS SCORING “PROFICIENT” AND “ADVANCED” IN 3-5 MATH HAMILTON COUNTY STATE HAMILTON COUNTY STATE 100% 85% 70% 64.4% 60.7% 61.8% 59.3% 54.7% 55.3% 55% 50.8% 50.5% 2012 2013 2014 2015 HAMILTON COUNTY STATE East Side Elementary in particular shines, beating both the state student growth. These are impressive feats for any school and and district averages in math. East Side has also shown students an important FIGURE 10 proof point for a school that serves some of the learning faster than expected in both of FIGURE the past 10 two years, most at-risk students in the district, with 98 percent economically PERCENT OF STUDENTS SCORING “PROFICIENT” AND “ADVA and is considered to be in the top five percent in the state for PERCENT OF STUDENTS disadvantaged and 70 percent English language learners. SCORING “PROFICIENT” AND “ADVANCED” IN 3-5 MATH 100% 100% 85% M I DD LE S C HO OLS : LOS I 85% NG MOM E N TU M Middle schools provide a vital link between the foundations four percent as students move from 5th to 6th grade - largely 70% built in elementary school and the readiness required in high due to students enrolling in area private schools – this cannot 70% 61.8% school. While we know that Hamilton County schools typically 60.7% fully explain the drop in student achievement seen between 64.4% 60.7% 61.8% 55.3% experience a decline in enrollment of approximately three to elementary 55% and middle school. 54.7% 59.3% 54.7% 50.8% 55.3% 50.5% 55% 50.8% 50.5% FIGURE 10 2012 2013 2014 2012 2013 2014 2015 PERCENT OF STUDENTS SCORING “PROFICIENT” AND “ADVANCED” IN 3-5 MATH HAMILTON COUNTY STATE 100% HAMILTON COUNTY STATE 85% 70% 64.4% 60.7% 61.8% 59.3% 54.7% 55.3% 55% 50.8% 50.5% 2012 2013 2014 2015 HAMILTON COUNTY STATE 5 Hernandez, Donald J. “Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation.” (n.d.): n. pag. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.
FIGURE 10 FIGURE 10 While Hamilton County is making strides in elementary math Hamilton PERCENTCountyOFdid not meet expected STUDENTS SCORINGrates for student AND “ADVAN “PROFICIENT” and numeracy, this upward trend takes a noticeable downturn PERCENT OF STUDENTS SCORINGgrowth. Of“PROFICIENT” the six middle schools that grew theirINstudents AND “ADVANCED” 3-5 MATH at during the middle school years. 100% least as fast as expected, CSAS, East Ridge Middle School, 100% In literacy tests, where students almost achieve parity with and East Lake Academy of Fine Arts led the way with student the state by 5th grade, they then begin to fall back in middle growth85%that was significantly above expectations. school. By the end of middle school, students 85% have fallen slightly behind their peers across the state. And there is little In the earlier 2012-13 school year, just over half of middle 70%grew their students faster than expected. So although schools evidence that they will catch up in high school. 70% 61.8% Looking at student growth, and not just proficiency, to see two years of decline have led to the current60.7% situation, 64.4% past 60.7% 61.8% 55.3% whether students are learning faster than expected does performance 55% demonstrates 54.7% that a return to systemically better 59.3% 54.7% 50.8% 55.3% 50.5% not paint a different picture. Two-thirds55% of middle schools in 50.8% results is not only possible, but has been done before. 50.5% 2012 2013 2014 FIGURE 12 2012 2013 2014 2015 2015 HCDE VS. STATE ON RATES OF “PROFICIENT” AND “ADVANCED” IN LITERACY HAMILTON COUNTY STATE HAMILTON COUNTY STATE 100% 75% 50% 25% 3rd Grade 4th Grade 5th Grade 6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade HAMILTON COUNTY STATE H I G H S C HO O LS : LOS I NG G ROU N D In order to ensure Hamilton County residents and our leaving our students less prepared to take advantage of the community are not left behind as we create new industries and region’s growing economic opportunities. new jobs, there needs to be an intense focus on high schools For example, despite growth in recent years, Hamilton County to accelerate the education of a broad swath of students who has fallen further behind the state in Algebra II since 2012, can serve as the talent driving Hamilton County’s future. leading to a gap of nearly eight points. Over the past three years, the rest of Tennessee has advanced Similarly, focusing solely on Algebra I, a required course for all more quickly at the high school level than Hamilton County. students in Tennessee and a crucial predictor of their success As a result, Hamilton County high schools are falling behind, after high school, the data is even more troubling. 19
50.8% 50.5% FIGURE 13 2012 2013 2014 2012 ACHIEVEMENT GAP BETWEEN HCDE AND STATE ON ALGEBRA II 2013 2014 2015 HAMILTON COUNTY STATE 60% HAMILTON COUNTY STATE 50% 40% 30% 2012 2013 2014 2015 Hamilton County schools have dropped into the bottom 10 of HAMILTON COUNTY all 141 districts STATE in the state on Algebra I. Comparing Hamilton County schools’ performance W H Y I S M AT H I M P O R TA N T ? to the other three largest metropolitan districts in the state—Knox County, Davidson County and Shelby County—Hamilton County has fallen to the • 72 percent of students who attend bottom of the pack and has been outperformed by Shelby County for two college and complete a four-year years running in Algebra I. degree took a high school math course above Algebra II. This is especially troubling, as much of the projected job growth in Chattanooga is in the advanced industries sector, which requires a strong foundation in math. • Those with low levels of math are 50 And for our students, continued struggles in high school math, not only presents percent more likely to be unemployed a challenge for high school graduation and college success, it is going to FIGURE 10 than those with higher levels of math. significantly limit the job opportunities that students FIGURE 10 can pursue. • Those with low levels of math PERCENT OF STUDENTS SCORING “PROFICIENT” AND “ADVAN Less than half of Hamilton County high school students PERCENT are profi OF STUDENTS typically cient or “PROFICIENT” SCORING AND earn about $1.30 “ADVANCED” INless 3-5 MATH advanced in Algebra I, which is not the most difficult math course 100% required for per hour. FIGURE 14 100% graduation. But it should be noted, 30 percent of 8th graders take Algebra I in • BETWEEN Many of the newTHE jobsSTATE, comingAND to SHELBY ALGEBRA I ACHIEVEMENT GAP HCDE, COUN an effort to increase the number of higher-level math courses they can take in Hamilton County include math skills 85% high school. 85% 70% in their job descriptions. This pattern of Hamilton County falling further behind the state average is now 70% being seen in every high school subject measured by the state60%assessments. 70% 61.8% Although Hamilton County is demonstrating steady improvement in most of these 60.7% 64.4% 61.8% subjects, the improvement is not keeping up with the growth50%being seen in55% other60.7% 54.7% 59.3% 55.3% 50.8% 50.5% areas across the state. 55% 54.7% 55.3% 50.8% 50.5% 40% 2012 2013 2014 FIGURE 14 2012 2012 2013 2013 2014 2014 2015 2015 ALGEBRA I ACHIEVEMENT GAP BETWEEN HCDE, THE STATE, AND SHELBY COUNTY HAMILTON COUNTY STATE HAMILTON COUNTY STATE 70% HAMILTON COUNTY SHELBY CO STATE 60% 50% 40% 2012 2013 2014 2015 20
FIGURE 15 ACHIEVEMENT GAP BETWEEN HCDE AND STATE ON ENGLISH I, II, AND III AND BIOLOGY I English I English II % PROFICIENT/ADVANCED % PROFICIENT/ADVANCED 72 65 69.75 62.8 67.6 67.5 60.5 59.8 65.25 58.3 64 56.9 2012 2015 2012 2015 HAMILTON CO HAMILTON CO STATE STATE English III Biology I % PROFICIENT/ADVANCED % PROFICIENT/ADVANCED 42 70 65.2 37.8 63.8 33.5 32.9 33.1 57.5 55.9 29.3 51.3 2012 2015 2012 2015 HAMILTON CO HAMILTON CO STATE STATE Hamilton County is seeing similar results in ACT scores, another indicator of college readiness. In Hamilton County, 13 high schools have an average ACT score that is below the state average of 19.3. Four of our high schools have an average ACT score below 16, which is the minimum score required for most postsecondary opportunities. These postsecondary opportunities include local technical schools where students can pursue industry certifications for better jobs and higher wages. Yet, the local technical school requires a minimum ACT score of 16 for all of its programs. So in the five high schools in Hamilton County with a three-year average ACT score under 16, the average student could not even get into a program where they could pursue such an industry certification. Further, for the industry certification programs in the booming industries of healthcare and advanced manufacturing, students are required to perform at a college level in both math and reading. This means continued low ACT scores will greatly limit access to postsecondary opportunities for a large swath of our student body. 22
Not only are Hamilton County Schools falling behind, but too many students and families also lack equal access to good schools. With a need for greater and much broader educational success in order to reap the benefits of our region’s growing economic opportunities, one area that must be addressed is the challenge faced by too many students and families of not having access to a high-performing school. F [ IGURE 16 AVERAGE 2013-14 ACT SCORE BY HIGH SCHOOL SIGNAL MOUNTAIN OPPORTUNITIES FOR OPTIMISM CCA • Three schools stand out with higher than 95 percent HCCH AT CHATT STATE graduation rates: Signal CSAS Mountain Middle School/High School, Chattanooga School EAST HAMILTON for Arts and Sciences, and Chattanooga High Center for SODDY DAISY Creative Arts. OOLTEWAH • Hamilton County Collegiate HIXSON High at Chattanooga State, an innovative partnership school CENTRAL between the school district and SALE CREEK Chattanooga State, has been identified as one of the top LOOKOUT VALLEY performing schools in the state two years running. RED BANK • Signal Mountain not only IVY ACADEMY graduates students at a high rate EAST RIDGE and boasts some of the highest test scores in the district, but in TYNER 2015, it also was the only high SEQUOYAH school in the district to grow its students faster than expected in HAMILTON COUNTY HS both math and literacy. BRAINERD HOWARD CGLA 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 6 https://www.chattanoogastate.edu/tcat/tcat-admissions-test-requirements
FIGURE 17 Lowest-Performing Schools vs. UNEQUAL ACCESS Highest-Performing Schools • For the purposes of this analysis, the 18.00% ‘lowest-performing schools’ are those that 16.40% are on the state’s list of priority schools. Priority schools are the lowest-performing 13.50% five percent of schools in Tennessee in terms of academic achievement. 9.00% • The ‘highest-performing schools’ are those that are on the state’s reward school list. Reward schools are the top five percent of 4.50% schools in the state for performance—as measured by overall student achievement 0.50% levels—and the top five percent for year- 0.00% over-year progress—as measured by HCDE STUDENT’S LIKELIHOOD OF ATTENDING ONE OF THE LOWEST school-wide value-added data. PERFORMING SCHOOLS IN THE STATE BLACK STUDENT WHITE STUDENT In fact, an African-American student in Hamilton County is 33 times more likely than a white student to attend a school in the bottom five percent of the state. Another way of looking at this is that while a white student with students from different neighborhoods receiving in Hamilton County has less than a one percent chance of vastly different educational experiences. In five of our high attending one of the lowest-performing schools in the state, school zones, at least half of the schools in the zone are in a black student in Hamilton County has a greater than a 16 the bottom quarter of the state in student achievement: percent chance of doing so. When looking at access to the 1. Brainerd highest-quality schools in the state, the gap between black 2. East Ridge and white students is much smaller, but still remains. Black students in Hamilton County have a 2.2 percent chance 3. Hixson of attending one of the highest-performing schools in the 4. Howard state, while white students have a 6.5 percent chance. 5. Tyner These odds are troubling for all students: only about 1 in Being born in those zones virtually guarantees that the every 20 Hamilton County students goes to an exceptional bulk of a student’s educational experience will occur in or high-performing school. schools where students are not learning to read or do This means that overall, black students are more math on grade level. Not surprisingly, these are also the than seven times as likely to go to one of the lowest- areas of the city with the highest rates of poverty. What performing schools in the state as they are to go to one this means is that it is even more important for students in of the highest-performing schools in the state. Or to put these areas to have access to schools that can help them it in more localized terms, for every one black student overcome the challenges associated with poverty. in Hamilton County who ends up in one of the highest- While there are certainly promising schools in each of these performing schools, seven end up in one of the lowest- zones, such as Hardy Elementary, East Ridge Middle, and performing. We cannot continue to let this sad reality go Calvin Donaldson, where students are learning enough to unaddressed. start to catch up, sustaining that learning over a full academic Much of the inequality is based on where students live, career remains a challenge that must be faced. 24
Either we face this challenge, or Hamilton County runs the risk of permanently creating two Chattanoogas—one for the prosperous and one for those being left significantly behind. However, student achievement is not the only way, or even the best way, to look at inequality of access to good schools. Instead of looking at whether students are performing on grade level, it is often more useful to look at student growth and how much students have learned over the course of a school year in comparison to where they started. The situation in Hamilton County looks a little different when taking this perspective. For instance: The Howard High School feeder pattern, FIGURE 18 despite struggling on a number of key CLASS OF 2014 POSTSECONDARY MATRICULATION BY HIGH SCHOOL metrics, is the only school with a feeder pattern of elementary and middle CSAS schools where students in the majority of schools learned more than expected SIGNAL MOUNTAIN over the course of the past year. This is largely courtesy of a group of elementary HCCH AT CHATT STATE schools where student achievement is EAST HAMILTON growing quickly. But East Ridge, Ooltewah, and Signal CCA Mountain High Schools see elementary OOLTEWAH and middle school feeder patterns where students in at least three quarters of TYNER schools learned less than expected. SALE CREEK Soddy Daisy and East Hamilton High Schools currently have the only SODDY DAISY elementary and middle school feeder patterns where none of the feeder LOOKOUT VALLEY schools sit in the bottom quarter in CENTRAL the state on student achievement, and half of those schools also meet state RED BANK expectations for student growth. HIXSON The Bottom Line: When looking only at student growth, unequal access to good EAST RIDGE schools is spread more evenly across the geography of Hamilton County, and HOWARD it shows up in many schools that are SEQUOYAH often viewed as successful, even as the students in those schools fall behind their BRAINERD high-achieving peers across the state. HAMILTON COUNTY HS 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Four-Year Schools Two-Year Schools 25
Unequal Access to Education Beyond High School Despite the glimmers of hope throughout the district, students across the district also face significant inequality in postsecondary opportunities. We see that access varies tremendously by school. In order to close these gaps, and ensure all communities in Chattanooga are being positioned to reap the benefits of coming economic opportunities, it will take the entire community working together. T H E I M PACT O F G EO G RAP H Y A tangible example of how these statistics might play out for high school was 15.6, lower than the minimum score of 16 a group of students can be found by looking at a school in required by most postsecondary institutions. Of the 31 who Chattanooga’s Innovation Zone, an area already committed to made it to a four-year school, only 28 students made it back providing more support to the county’s struggling schools. for their second year, and only 16 of the original 84 will graduate from college within six years. Imagine that only one hundred students live in the Orchard Knob neighborhood. These students will go to Orchard Knob The remaining 53 Brainerd high school graduates, who ended Elementary School, where only twelve of them will learn to up at a two-year institution, have even worse odds, as just 35 read on grade level, making it far less likely for the rest to students will return for their second year of study, and only 10 graduate from high school. will leave with a degree within six years. So in the end, only 26 of 296 Brainerd High graduates, or less than nine percent, will The students then go on to Orchard Knob Middle School, end up with a postsecondary degree of any kind within six years. where one more of our 12 will fall behind in reading, leaving only 11 left reading on grade level. Making matters worse, only Much of this can be traced to feeder pattern for Brainerd, which 16 of the 100 students will perform on grade level in math, is particularly punishing, with 87.5 percent of Brainerd’s feeder meaning 84 of them are heading into Algebra I behind, an schools among the bottom 25 percent of schools in the state. important predictor of future job opportunities and earnings. If you live in this community, there is an 80 percent chance that the elementary school you go to will be one of the lowest By the time these hundred students get to Brainerd High achieving in the state, and a 100 percent chance that the middle School, almost all of them have fallen even farther behind. school and high school you attend will be one of the lowest Fewer than 10 out of 100 will achieve proficiency in English III. achieving in the state. In that light, it should not be surprising Only seven will qualify for the HOPE Scholarship, none will hit that only nine percent of Brainerd graduates will end up with any the ACT College Ready Benchmarks, and 35 of the 100 will kind of postsecondary degree. not even graduate. This is tragic news if you live in Orchard Knob, and it should Unfortunately, these schools don’t just serve one hundred also be alarming news if you are a taxpayer in Hamilton students. They serve around 1,600 students—every single year. County, because these students who fail to graduate from high But the story does not end in high school. In the 2007-08 school or do not get a postsecondary degree are less likely school year, there were 296 seniors at Brainerd High School. to be productively employed, more likely to experience health Of those 296, 188 students, or 63.5 percent, graduated with issues, and more likely to create an economic drag on the a diploma. Of these 188, only 84 went on to a postsecondary community as a whole, simply because of where they live and institution, probably because the average ACT score at the their continued lack of access to higher-performing schools. 26
FIGURE 19 BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOL TWO-YEAR 100% FOUR-YEAR ALL STUDENTS Class of 2007-08 Students 75% 50% 25% 0% S H P R P E O O E IG N TU S S H IO TS TS R S R N E E C C C C H A O O LA O F N N TE O S D D L S A A R D R R E F IP Y Y N IR LO R M G S O R A T M LL A TR Y A D M E IC U A E A U R N TI LA T O TI N O N A combination of strong student outcomes and faster than expected learning is a hallmark of a highly successful school that benefits students of all backgrounds and all achievement levels. A C O M B I N AT ION OF H I G H G ROW TH AN D H IG H AC H I EV E M E NT OPPORTUNITIES FOR OPTIMISM But again, there are local examples that show these patterns • CSAS and CGLA are the two high schools who can be reversed. CSAS provides a good example of what is graduate more than 90 percent of their students and possible for students. CSAS is a majority non-white school, and have a larger minority population than the district nearly one in three students are economically disadvantaged, average. yet they boast not only a high school graduation rate that consistently hovers at or near 100 percent, but also an ACT • At Rivermont Elementary School, students learned average that comfortably exceeds the state average. more than expected in both math and literacy in both 2014 and 2015. Rivermont is almost 90 percent It would be easy to identify CSAS as a school that shows great economically disadvantaged and over 50 percent black. results simply because it is a magnet school. However, CSAS also excels at making sure students are learning more than • At three out of five elementary schools in the Brainerd their peers across the state. For three years running, CSAS feeder pattern, students learned at least as much as students have learned more than expected across all subject expected in the 2013-14 school year. This shows some areas, including, notably, literacy courses. This is likely due to a potential for greater growth throughout the feeder teacher force where more than half of teachers lead students to pattern if such early gains can be sustained. faster than expected growth. • At four out of five elementary schools in the Howard Without greater access to more high-quality schools, School feeder pattern, students learned at least as especially for students who are already facing early obstacles much as expected in the 2013-14 school year. This to graduating from high school and attaining additional shows some potential for the feeder pattern to grow if education or training, it is unclear why we should expect early gains are sustained. different economic outcomes than in the past. 28
LAY I N G T H E G ROU N D WOR K FOR K-12 S UC C E S S: A N EW FO CUS ON TEAC H E R TALE N T A N D SCH O OL LEADE R S H I P One of the primary reasons to be optimistic that Hamilton County schools may see rapid improvement in the coming years is the work being done by school leaders to ensure that our most talented teachers continue to inspire and instruct students. FIGURE 20 TEACHER RETENTION BY OVERALL LEVEL OF EFFECTIVENESS 100.00% 93.10% 89.50% 91.00% 87.40% 88.00% 75.00% 48.50% 50.00% 25.00% 0.00% B S B A A A S O IG IG E E T B B V LO LO O O E E N N R V V X IF IF W W A E E P LL IC IC E E E E E C X X A A X X TA P P N N P P E E TL TL E E TI C C C C Y Y TA TA O TA TA N TI TI TI TI S O O O O N N N N S S S S 5 Hernandez, Donald J. “Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation.” (n.d.): n. pag. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.
Retaining, supporting and empowering talented teachers to lead students to rapid growth in the coming years must be part of the strategy moving forward. School leaders are getting better at identifying and retaining In a recent survey, nearly three out of four Hamilton County their top performing teachers, meaning that those with a teachers reported that the locally created Project Coach proven track record of success are staying at a higher rate evaluation system improved their teaching, and more than than those with a proven track record of underperformance. three out of four reported that the system was fair. Both Just as importantly, less than half of all teachers each that of these responses are more positive than what is seen score “Significantly Below Expectations” are retained. As elsewhere across the state and show a healthy majority of an example, during the 2013-14 school year, 52 out of 101 teachers responding positively to a rigorous evaluation system. teachers that were rated at this lowest performance level were not rehired. And successful teaching is occurring across the entire district. Hamilton County now has one of the most rigorous systems All but three schools have at least one teacher whose students of evaluation and development in the state. Potential learned more than expected in the 2014-15 school year. Even concerns about how rigorous evaluation could lead to teacher in schools traditionally viewed as struggling, there are great morale issues do not appear to be playing out as evidenced things happening, with teachers who are moving mountains to by both teacher retention rates and qualitative data. lead their children to faster than expected growth. 30
There is no result better for an individual teacher than having Yet, during the 2014-2015 school year, almost every teacher students learn more than expected, regardless of how much at Woodmore Elementary led their students to faster than those students knew at the beginning of the year, regardless expected growth. The teachers of Woodmore Elementary of their socioeconomic backgrounds, and regardless of other will not solve all of the deficits their students face in a single challenges they may be facing. The only thing that should be year, but they are succeeding at high student growth and asked of teachers is that the students they teach learn as accelerating learning—the only thing that will get students who much as possible. And at almost every school in the district, start out far behind to catch their peers. If these students see there is someone answering that challenge and more. similar growth year after year, their futures will begin to look Woodmore Elementary offers a great example of where great much more positive. teaching is happening and hope can be found. Woodmore is a school that is over 90 percent black and over 90 percent economically disadvantaged. It was previously identified as one of the lowest performing schools in the state, and is now a part of the Hamilton County Innovation Zone. 31
T H E C HA LLE NG E: I N H I G H E R E DUCATION Despite enrolling in colleges and technical schools, Hamilton County’s high school graduates are not attaining enough postsecondary credentials. FIGURE 21 HAMILTON COUNTY STUDENTS 6.56% 1.33% 1.74% 2.15% 2.26% 4.21% 40.72% 5.64% 9.13% CHATTANOOGA STATE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE ETSU CHATTANOOGA TCAT AUSTIN PEAY UTC MTSU TSU LEE UNIVERSITY OTHER 26.26% Two-thirds of Hamilton County graduates enroll in a two- or four-year institution immediately following high school graduation, and of that group, over half of them will enroll in either Chattanooga State Community College or the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC).
FIGURE 22 SIX-YEAR GRADUATION RATE 60.00% 57.10% 53.20% 50.00% 45.00% 39.80% 30.90% 30.00% 24.70% 20.00% 15.00% 5.50% 0.00% ALL STUDENTS WHITE STUDENTS BLACK STUDENTS HISPANIC STUDENTS CHATTANOOGA STATE UTC Postsecondary Graduation: Losing Talent But despite such postsecondary enrollment trends, we see This means that for the majority of students of color, getting that many of these students will never make it to graduation, in the door of postsecondary is only the first of a series of as Chattanooga State has a six-year graduation rate under hurdles, and too many of those students then get left behind. 25 percent, and UTC has a six-year graduation rate just over Furthermore, we see that over two-thirds of freshmen enrolled 50 percent. at Chattanooga State must enroll in remedial courses, and The situation is even more dire for students of color. Despite nearly a third of those remedial students will never successfully UTC and Chattanooga State having very similar demographics, there are vastly different trends in graduation rates among complete any credit-bearing college courses. Perhaps not minorities. In 2013-14, the graduation rate for African surprisingly, the freshman retention rate at Chattanooga State American students and Hispanic students at Chattanooga is only 54.4 percent, putting them in 11th place out of the 14 State was the lowest of all 14 community colleges in the state. community colleges in Tennessee. FIGURE 23 CHATTANOOGA STATE STATISTICS 70% 64.40% 62.80% 54.50% 55.70% 52.5% 46.60% 35% 31.90% 22.20% 17.5% 0% F A R F W B H R R LL E LA IS H E E M IT P C S S IN E A E K H H D N M M R F IA F IC R E E A R L M E N N E F F S S E R IN R A H H D E E IL M M IA S TE R U A H A E L R N N N M M E TI A E R R R N D O E E A TE IA N TE R TE E L N N TE TI TI O N O TI N N O N 8 | 9 | 10 Tennessee Higher Education Commission. “2013-2014 Tennessee Higher Education Factbook.” (n.d.): n. pag. 2014 Legislative Reports. Tennessee Higher Education Commission, 2014. Web. 1 Aug. 2015.
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