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Number of Nashville High School Students Taking Algebra Exams Declines as Proficiency Rates Double

NASHVILLE, Tennessee–As the percentage of Metropolitan Nashville Public School high school students who have been rated proficient in end-0f-course Algebra I exams over the six years has doubled, some 10 percent fewer students actually took the exam.

In 2010, a total of 4,870 MNPS high school students in grades 9 through 12 took the Algebra I end-of-course exam. 1,400 of these students, or 28 percent, were rated proficient or better.

In 2015, a total of 4,380 MNPS high school students in grades 9 through 12 took the Algebra I end-of-course exam. 2,470 of these students, or 56 percent, were rated proficient or better.

As Breitbart News reported earlier, whistleblowing teachers told Nashville’s News Channel 5 that they had been ordered to remove poor performing Algebra I students from their classrooms so they would not be able to take the end-of-course exams.

The allegation is that these orders by MNPS school officials violate Tennessee state law and are designed to “rig the system.”

Joseph Bass, a spokesperson for the MNPS offers this explanation for the dramatic decline, which he sent to Breitbart News on Monday morning:

Below are the number of MNPS students taking the Algebra I End of Course Exam each year and the number and percent at each of the four proficiency levels (Below Basic, Basic, Proficient and Advanced). The last column shows the percent Proficient or Advanced. We are now held accountable for the results in grades 9-12, and that is what is publicly reported. But we have had an increase in the number of students taking Algebra I in the middle school grades in recent years, and those numbers are shown in the second table. Obviously as more students take Algebra I in grades 6-8, the number taking the course in high school will go down. Furthermore, the data show that our proficiency rates are much higher in middle school, as these are many our highest achieving students. So the increase in students taking Algebra I in middle school negatively impacts our high school accountability numbers.

Here are the raw numbers on grades 9 to 12 provided to Breibart News by MPNS:

Number and Percent of MNPS Algebra I Students by Proficiency Level: 2010-2015
Grades 9-12
Year Subject Grades # Tested # Below Basic # Basic # Profic # Adv % Below Basic % Basic % Profic % Adv % Profic or Adv
2015 Algebra I 9-12 4380 801 1109 1441 1029 18.3 25.3 32.9 23.5 56.4
2014 Algebra I 9-12 4488 945 1401 1363 779 21.0 31.2 30.4 17.4 47.8
2013 Algebra I 9-12 4644 969 1284 1460 931 21.0 27.6 31.4 20.0 51.4
2012 Algebra I 9-12 4388 1014 1542 1044 788 23.1 35.1 23.8 18.0 41.8
2011 Algebra I 9-12 4128 1192 1387 979 570 28.9 33.6 23.7 13.8 37.5
2010 Algebra I 9-12 4870 1640 1830 1025 375 33.7 37.6 21.0 7.7 28.7

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