Tennessee Department of Education Releases School Letter Grades

In 2016, the Tennessee General Assembly approved legislation requiring the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) to establish a letter-grading system for public schools. Implementation of this measure was delayed by testing administration challenges and the impact of COVID-19, but school-specific A-F letter grades were released for the first time on Dec. 21, 2023.

Of the 83 schools within KCS that received letter grades, 52 percent received grades of A or B. School-specific grades are available on the TDOE website, and a summary of KCS results is provided below:

  • A – 19 schools
  • B – 24 schools
  • C – 15 schools
  • D – 21 schools
  • F – 4 schools

Four indicators are included in the calculation:

  • Overall success rate for achievement;
  • Overall growth;
  • Growth for the lowest performing 25% of students in the school; and
  • A college and career readiness indicator for high schools.


“It’s important to remember that these letter grades are not the complete picture of any school,” said superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk. “There are many ways of analyzing achievement, and I have seen firsthand that every school in our district has outstanding educators and talented students who are doing amazing work. It’s also important to keep in mind that last year alone, KCS increased student achievement in all tested subject areas, and made historic improvements in third-grade reading, while seeing math scores rebound to pre-COVID-19 achievement levels. These gains not only speak to the hard work and dedication of our students and families, they are proof that – together – we are making progress.”

Last year, KCS increased student achievement in all tested subject areas. TCAP data released in July showed that districtwide scores showed historic improvements in third grade reading and saw math scores rebound to pre-Covid-19 achievement levels. Those gains were particularly significant compared to scores in 2020-21, the first full school year after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district has also launched several initiatives aimed at increasing student achievement and performance in recent months. These include:

  • Hiring more than 200 tutors to provide instructional support;
  • Leveraging the regional support model to provide additional classroom support;
  • Investing $10.7 million in new, high-quality instructional material for K-12 math;
  • Enrolling more than 6,500 students in summer programming, as part of an effort to close learning gaps;
  • Creating a strategic plan for Region 5 to address challenges in schools that have faced persistent gaps in achievement; and
  • Launching the KCS Way for special education, to identify service improvements and policy changes to support students who qualify for special education supports.

“Our district is focused on accelerating learning, and KCS educators, staff, and community partners are united around that goal,” said Dr. Keith Wilson, assistant superintendent of academics. “We will continue to pursue innovative strategies that put student achievement at the center of our work, and we believe this strategy is already producing results.”